Date of Award

12-2016

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Nuclear Engineering

Major Professor

Belle R. Upadhyaya

Committee Members

Jamie B. Coble, Arthur E. Ruggles, James L. Simonton

Abstract

Small and large scale integral light water reactors are being developed to supply electrical power and to meet the needs of process heat, primarily for water desalination. This dissertation research focuses on the instrumentation and control of a large integral inherently safe light water reactor (designated as I2S-LWR) which is being designed as part of a grant by the U.S. Department of Energy Integrated Research Project (IRP). This 969 MWe integral pressurized water reactor (PWR) incorporates as many passive safety features as possible while maintaining competitive costs with current light water reactors. In support of this work, the University of Tennessee has been engaged in research to solve the instrumentation and control challenges posed by such a reactor design. This dissertation is a contribution to this effort. The objectives of this dissertation are to establish the feasibility and conceptual development of instrumentation strategies and control approaches for the I2S-LWR, with consideration to the state of the art of the field.

The objectives of this work are accomplished by the completion of the following tasks:

  • Assessment of instrumentation needs and technology gaps associated with the instrumentation of the I2S-LWR for process monitoring and control purposes.
  • Development of dynamic models of a large integral PWR core, micro-channel heat exchangers (MCHX) that are contained within the reactor pressure vessel, and steam flashing drums located external to the containment building.
  • Development and demonstration of control strategies for reactor power regulation, steam flashing drum pressure regulation, and flashing drum water level regulation for steady state and load-following conditions.
  • Simulation, detection, and diagnosis of process anomalies in the I2S-LWR model.

This dissertation is innovative and significant in that it reports the first instrumentation and control study of nuclear steam supply by integral pressurized water reactor coupled to an isenthalpic expansion vessel for steam generation. Further, this dissertation addresses the instrumentation and control challenges associated with integral reactors, as well as improvements to inherent safety possible in the instrumentation and control design of integral reactors. The results of analysis and simulation demonstrate the successful development of dynamic modeling, control strategies, and instrumentation for a large integral PWR.

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