Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Program

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Supervisor

Jin Jiang

Abstract

The development of a three dimensional (3-D) neutronic kinetic modeling process aiming at control system design for CANadian Deuterium Uranium (CANDU) reactors is carried out in this thesis using a modal synthesis method. In this method, the reactor space-time neutron flux is synthesized by a time-weighted series of precalculated neutron flux modes. These modes are eigenfunctions of the governing neutron diffusion equation at reference steady-state operating conditions. The xenon effect has also been considered. A special attention has been paid to compare the performance of the developed 3-D model with that of a traditional coupled point kinetic model. The 3-D reactor model is implemented by MATLAB/SIMULINK software environment. A nondimensionalized SIMULINK representation of the reactor model is established.

The performance of the developed 3-D reactor neutronic kinetic model is then evaluated in a closed-loop environment with the help of a CANDU reactor regulating system (RRS) simulation platform. The dynamic behavior of the reactor model in a practical load-following mode has also been examined. The accuracy of the model has been validated against actual plant measurements under transient conditions. Through the analysis and simulation studies, it has convincingly demonstrated that the developed 3-D reactor model has significant advantages over the traditional coupled point kinetic model in terms of the improved accuracy and the higher resolution in modeling the reactor internal flux behaviors. Furthermore, using Graphic User Interface (GUI) techniques a user-friendly software package for the RRS simulation platform is developed.

Based on the 3-D reactor model and identified deficiencies of existing RRS’ functions, an advanced 3-D reactor power distribution control is proposed and investigated. Linearization of the reactor model is performed and the performance of the linearized reactor model is evaluated in a closed-loop RRS environment. Using the feedback control law, a newly designed control strategy tries to suppress the effects of high order neutron flux modes and to emphasize behaviors of the dominant mode – the fundamental flux distribution adopted by the nominal design. Thereby, the 3-D power distribution shape during transients is optimally maintained closer to the nominal design shape than by the traditional RRS. The benefits of 3-D power distribution include not only the improved economical operation, but also improved safety as the uncertainties and the uneven power distribution are reduced. These have been confirmed by extensive simulation studies to Regional Overpower Protection (ROP) detectors’ flux transients during load following processes.


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