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[en] Highlights: • We establish a disperse dynamic model for AP1000 reactor core. • A digital PID control based on QDRNN is used to design a decoupling control system. • The decoupling performance is verified and discussed. • The decoupling control system is simulated under the load following operation. - Abstract: The control system of the AP1000 reactor core uses the mechanical shim (MSHIM) strategy, which includes a power control subsystem and an axial power distribution control subsystem. To address the strong coupling between the two subsystems, an interlock between the two subsystems is used, which can only alleviate but not eliminate the coupling. Therefore, sometimes the axial offset (AO) cannot be controlled tightly, and the flexibility of load-following operation is limited. Thus, the decoupling of the original AP1000 reactor core control system is the focus of this paper. First, a two-node disperse dynamic model is established for the AP1000 reactor core to use PID control. Then, a digital PID control system based on a quasi-diagonal recurrent neural network (QDRNN) is designed to decouple the original system. Finally, the decoupling of the control system is verified by the step signal and load-following condition. The results show that the designed control system can decouple the original system as expected and the AO can be controlled much more tightly. Moreover, the flexibility of the load following is increased.