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Measuring the Cost of Obsolescence

[+] Author Affiliations
Mark White

Idaho State University, Pocatello, ID

Paper No. ICONE14-89680, pp. 249-252; 4 pages
  • 14th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering
  • Volume 1: Plant Operations, Maintenance and Life Cycle; Component Reliability and Materials Issues; Codes, Standards, Licensing and Regulatory Issues; Fuel Cycle and High Level Waste Management
  • Miami, Florida, USA, July 17–20, 2006
  • Conference Sponsors: Nuclear Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4242-8 | eISBN: 0-7918-3783-1
  • Copyright © 2006 by ASME


The Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) has provided the capability for irradiation testing of nuclear fuels and materials since 1967, and is expected to operate for several more years. Within the scope of extending the life of a nuclear plant is dealing with aging and obsolescence issues. A component can be considered obsolete if the manufacturer no longer supports the component, or if the manufacturer does not even exist anymore. Though these components can be considered obsolete, the cost of obsolescence may or may not be significant; it may be more cost-effective to leave and/or repair the component rather than to replace it. The project at hand is to develop a tool that will not only identify these components, series of components, or entire systems that are obsolete, but to quantify the cost of obsolescence. This engineering tool will be based on empirical formulas created from data collected from factors that deal with obsolescence. These factors are primarily, the cost of item replacement, current cost of maintenance, cost of maintenance of the replacement, cost of failure, risk of failure, safety, increase in performance/efficiency, length of manufacturer’s support, and so forth. The objective is to be able to look at the outcome of this engineering tool and clearly see what needs to be replaced, be it a component, series of components, or an entire system. If there are several such replacements needed, which one(s) have the greatest priority for replacement. Therefore the engineering tool will identify, quantify, and prioritize the cost of obsolescence in the plant. An engineering tool of this type should find application in a number of nuclear and non-nuclear facilities. While the engineering tool is being developed, the first stage of development will be on system components. Once the foundation is set it will be used to evaluate other systems and eventually expand and develop the engineering tool for the entire plant.

Copyright © 2006 by ASME



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