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[en] It is shown that it is possible to regulate the energy of each pulse of a powerful pulsed periodic reactor using an injector of relatively low power. The target in the reactor core generates the neutron pulses forced by the injector. The correlations for determination of the moment of injection are obtained. The equation connecting the mean reactor power, the intensity integral of the target and the scatter multiplicity of the pulse energy without injection is obtained. In addition to its function as a regulator, the injector plays the role of an auxiliary emergency unit. It is shown that using an injector provides a regime in which the reactor can generate power pulses in the form of periodic packets
[en] Highlights: ► Current practice in validation test case generation for nuclear system is mainly ad hoc. ► This study designs a systematic approach to generate validation test cases from a Safety Analysis Report. ► It is based on a domain-specific ontology. ► Test coverage criteria have been defined and satisfied. ► A computerized toolset has been implemented to assist the proposed approach. - Abstract: Validation tests in the current nuclear industry practice are typically performed in an ad hoc fashion. This study presents a systematic and objective method of generating validation test cases from a Safety Analysis Report (SAR). A domain-specific ontology was designed and used to mark up a SAR; relevant information was then extracted from the marked-up document for use in automatically generating validation test cases that satisfy the proposed test coverage criteria; namely, single parameter coverage, use case coverage, abnormal condition coverage, and scenario coverage. The novelty of this technique is its systematic rather than ad hoc test case generation from a SAR to achieve high test coverage.
[en] Highlights: • Assessment of AP1000 behavior in LBLOCA sequences. • AP1000 LBLOCA comparison against standard PWR-3L. • TRACE-DAKOTA application to BEPU analysis. - Abstract: The AP1000® is an advanced Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) design developed by Westinghouse which implements passive safety systems to provide core cooling in case of accident. The development of best-estimate codes produced the evolution of conservative safety analysis towards the so-called best-estimate plus uncertainty (BEPU) analysis in order to obtain more realistic results and larger safety margins. In this sense, Westinghouse used for AP1000 Large Break Loss of Coolant Accident (LBLOCA) the so-called Automated Statistical Treatment of Uncertainty Method (ASTRUM) which was developed to address this kind of BEPU analysis. This paper presents a verification of the AP1000 LBLOCA BEPU analysis by means of TRACE V5.0 patch 2 thermal–hydraulic code with the support of DAKOTA code for uncertainty calculations. The results obtained show lower values for the maximum PCT than the ones obtained by Westinghouse. In both cases the results show that AP1000 can mitigate effectively the occurrence of a postulate LBLOCA and to meet the 10CFR50.46 PCT acceptance criteria with enough margin
[en] Common-mode/common-cause (CM/CC) failure and its prevention has been a serious concern in the nuclear safety community during the past few years. Since redundancy was first used in an attempt to achieve high reliability in systems, the CM/CC failure phenomenon has been inherent in system designs. The concern is that high-reliability systems are subject to compromise by human error and environmental factors. Potential CM/CC failures are the result of adding complexity to system designs. They are the product of a supersafe philosophy. The CM/CC failure phenomenon is reviewed. Classes of CM/CC failures are compiled, and the defenses against such failures and their weaknesses are surveyed. Some regulatory considerations, operating experiences, and reliability analysis methodology are touched upon. (author)
[en] One of the main concerns of the nuclear industry is to improve the availability of safety-related systems at nuclear power plants (NPPs) to achieve high safety levels. The development of efficient testing and maintenance has been traditionally one of the different ways to guarantee high levels of systems availability, which are implemented at NPP through technical specification and maintenance requirements (TS and M). On the other hand, there is a widely recognized interest in using the probabilistic risk analysis (PRA) for risk-informed applications aimed to emphasize both effective risk control and effective resource expenditures at NPPs. TS and M-related parameters in a plant are associated with controlling risk or with satisfying requirements, and are candidate to be evaluated for their resource effectiveness in risk-informed applications. The resource versus risk-control effectiveness principles formally enter in optimization problems where the cost or the burden for the plant staff is to be minimized while the risk or the availability of the safety equipment is constrained to be at a given level, and vice versa. Optimization of TS and M has been found interesting from the very beginning. However, the resolution of such a kind of optimization problem has been limited to focus on only individual TS and M-related parameters (STI, AOT, PM frequency, etc.) and/or adopting an individual optimization criterion (availability, costs, plant risks, etc.). Nevertheless, a number of reasons exist (e.g. interaction, similar scope, etc.) that justify the growing interest in the last years to focus on the simultaneous and multi-criteria optimization of TS and M. In the simultaneous optimization of TS and M-related parameters based on risk (or unavailability) and cost, like in many other engineering optimization problems, one normally faces multi-modal and non-linear objective functions and a variety of both linear and non-linear constraints. Genetic algorithms (GAs) have proved their capability to solve these kinds of problems, although GAs are essentially unconstrained optimization techniques that require adaptation for the intended constrained optimization, where TS and M-related parameters act as the decision variables. This paper encompasses, in , the problem formulation where the objective function is derived and constraints that apply in the simultaneous and multi-criteria optimization of TS and M activities based on risk and cost functions at system level. Fundamentals of a steady-state GA (SSGA) as an optimization method is given in , which satisfies the above requirements, paying special attention to its use in constrained optimization problems. A simple case of application is provided in , focussing on TS and M-related parameters optimization for a stand-by safety-related system, which demonstrates how the SSGA-based optimization approach works at the system level, providing practical and complete alternatives beyond only mathematical solutions to a particular parameter. Finally, presents our conclusions
[en] Highlights: • A flux reconstruction method is presented that uses a 3D transport theory form factor. • 3D form factor is a 2D xy-plane component times an approximate 1D z-axis component. • Method is used to simulate travelling flux detector scan (TFD scan) readings. - Abstract: Even with current computing capabilities, detailed full core three-dimensional (3-D) transport calculations are still not practical. However, if we are satisfied with knowing only the average values of spatial flux distributions, the 3-D diffusion solution will constitute the final solution. On the other hand, in reactor design and safety analysis, direct information about the local flux distribution for the heterogeneous assemblies is required to assess the design and determine the safety margins. For this reason, after having solved the full-reactor-core problem, we have to look into the possibilities of recovering in a second step the information on local properties of single heterogeneous assemblies. In particular, the detector readings at detector locations are derived using these global homogenized parameters by applying appropriate numerical methods such as advanced interpolations. In this paper, we propose a method based on flux reconstruction to calculate the simulated detector readings in three-dimensions with high fidelity. Data from detector readings are very important in ensuring optimal reactor operations as well as in detecting any deviations from normal operations. Thus, calculating the detector readings with high fidelity will allow improvements to operating and safety margins. To validate this method, comparisons between detector reading simulation results and measurements from an operating CANDU reactor will be conducted and results will be presented.
[en] Highlights: • Wilks’ method for setting tolerance limits is derived and verified. • Higher order Wilks analysis increases the accuracy and precision of the predicted tolerance. • In most practical applications, higher order analysis is unnecessary. • Wilks’ method is applied to the Dittus-Boelter equation. - Abstract: Wilks’ non-parametric method for setting tolerance limits using order statistics has recently become popular in the nuclear industry. The method allows analysts to predict a desired tolerance limit with some confidence that the estimate is conservative. The method is popular because it is simple and fits well into established regulatory frameworks. A critical analysis of the underlying statistics is presented in this work, including a derivation, analytical and statistical verification, and a broad discussion. Possible impacts of the underlying assumptions for application to computational tools are discussed. An in-depth discussion of the order statistic rank used in Wilks’ formula is provided, including when it might be necessary to use a higher rank estimate.
[en] Loss of coolant accident (LOCA) analyses for various configurations of safety injection system (SIS) are performed to optimize the emergency core cooling system (ECCS) performance for the Korean next generation reactor (KNGR). The KNGR is an advanced light water reactor (ALWR) adopting the advanced design feature of a direct vessel injection (DVI) configuration and passive fluidic device in the discharge line of the safety injection tank (SIT). To determine the feasible SIS configuration and the optimum capacities of the SIT and high pressure safety injection pump (HPSIP), licensing design basis and best estimate LOCA analyses are performed for the limiting large break and small break spectrum, respectively. The analyses results show that the four-train DVI injection with the current system design is a more feasible configuration than the other ones considered and the adoption of a fluidic device SIT enhances the ECCS performance for large break LOCA. For small break LOCA, in the case of cold leg break, the DVI4 configuration is better than other configurations and also meets the EPRI ALWR requirement of no core uncovery for up to a 15.24 cm (6 in) diameter small break. However, in the case of DVI line break, slight core uncovery is predicted and also the system behavior is significantly affected by reactor vessel (RV) downcomer modeling. Therefore, the DVI4 configuration is more feasible for KNGR ECCS performance, but further investigations are required to resolve the ECCS bypass issues for large break LOCA and to develop a proper RV downcomer model for analysis of DVI line break in small break LOCA
[en] Highlights: • A safety culture framework and a quantitative methodology to assess safety culture were proposed. • The relation among Norm system, Safety Management System and worker's awareness was established. • Safety culture probability at NPPs was updated by collecting actual organizational data. • Vulnerable areas and the relationship between safety culture and human error were confirmed. - Abstract: For a long time, safety has been recognized as a top priority in high-reliability industries such as aviation and nuclear power plants (NPPs). Establishing a safety culture requires a number of actions to enhance safety, one of which is changing the safety culture awareness of workers. The concept of safety culture in the nuclear power domain was established in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safety series, wherein the importance of employee attitudes for maintaining organizational safety was emphasized. Safety culture assessment is a critical step in the process of enhancing safety culture. In this respect, assessment is focused on measuring the level of safety culture in an organization, and improving any weakness in the organization. However, many continue to think that the concept of safety culture is abstract and unclear. In addition, the results of safety culture assessments are mostly subjective and qualitative. Given the current situation, this paper suggests a quantitative methodology for safety culture assessments based on a Bayesian network. A proposed safety culture framework for NPPs would include the following: (1) a norm system, (2) a safety management system, (3) safety culture awareness of worker, and (4) Worker behavior. The level of safety culture awareness of workers at NPPs was reasoned through the proposed methodology. Then, areas of the organization that were vulnerable in terms of safety culture were derived by analyzing observational evidence. We also confirmed that the frequency of events involving human error decreases when the level of safety culture is high. It is anticipated that the causality between the safety culture awareness of worker and the state of safety at NPPs can be verified using the proposed methodology.
[en] Delayed neutron fraction β and prompt neutron generation time Λ were determined for the Miniature Neutron Source Reactor of Syria using noise analysis technique. Small reactivity perturbations, step-wise and impulse in time, were introduced into the reactor at low power level i.e. zero-power. Power and reactivity versus time were obtained. Using the generalized least square algorithm and transfer function analysis, measurement of both the delayed neutron fraction and the neutron generation time were made. The MNSR values obtained for the prompt neutron generation time and delayed neutron fraction are 78.3±1.3 μs and 7.94±0.11x10-3 respectively. Both measured values of β and Λ were found to be very consistent with previously measured and calculated ones reported in the Safety Analysis Report