Journal article Open Access

Neutron noise spectral features of simulated mechanical and thermal-hydraulic perturbations in a PWR core

L.A Torres; D. Chionis; C. Montalvo; A. Dokhane; A. García-Berrocal

KWU-PWR reactors (SIEMENS design) are commonly exhibiting high neutron noise levels that can lead to costly operational issues. Recent analysis seems to indicate that, coolant flow, temperature oscillations, and mechanical vibrations have a key impact on neutron noise phenomena. In order to advance in understanding this phenomenon, the transient nodal code SIMULATE-3K (S3K) has been already utilized to simulate scenarios with individual or combined types of perturbation sources: mechanical vibrations of fuel assemblies and thermal-hydraulic fluctuations at the core inlet. In this work, new simulations are performed with all the perturbations applied simultaneously. The simulated neutron detectors responses are then analyzed with noise analysis techniques. All the simulated spectral features of neutron noise are compared to those obtained from real plant data. Results show that the simulated neutron noise phenomenology behaves similarly to that obtained from real plant data by increasing the fluctuation amplitude in the inlet coolant flow in the S3K calculations.

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