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Vibrational Characterization and Evaluation of Channel Conditions
Group members: Keenan Grassby, Mackenzie Brandon, Darian Kusik
School: Ontario Tech University
The problem that we identified and wanted to solve was that nuclear inspections of a reactor core are lengthy and costly processes that can result in early shutdown of reactors due to lack of information. In order to solve this problem our project aims to use the ICFD data from a CANDU reactor to provide online monitoring for the condition 132 out of the 360 fuel channels in a CANDU 6 reactor without needing any additional hardware. Literature identified from similar projects has shown the feasibility of this type of inspection technique. However, none of the mentioned sources applied the method for use in fuel channel inspection in order to reduce critical path time and extend the potential reactor lifetime. This project will target the missing concepts from the sources mentioned in order to develop the proof of principle for such an application. With developing this project there is a lack of transient data showing possible failure modes and abnormal conditions for a fuel channel; therefore the design process focuses on the creation of artificial sets of data by using a series of simulations. This process involves The 3D modelling of the Fuel channels and ICFD throughout a CANDU 6 reactor. Followed by performing modal vibration simulations on the fuel channels for various expected normal and abnormal fuel channel support conditions. The stationary displacement data is then extracted from the simulation software and imported into a python code. This code then simulates the transient behaviour of the fuel channels and an FEA code is used to calculate the effect this vibration would have on the observed neutron flux for a given ICFD. Using the results from our work and the mentioned sources comparisons were able to be made between the normal and abnormal support conditions to show the expected changes in the observed flux. This system as a whole allows for the generation and evaluation of various fuel channel conditions and what their effect on the observed neutron flux would be. Alongside this process the entire project was conducted using a quality assurance program based upon Nuclear CSA regulations, and a feasibility assessment was conducted to evaluate the practicality of the project.The initial work on the project has resulted in a prototyped system capable of producing neutron flux data for normal and abnormal support conditions. Future work throughout the following semester will aim to improve upon each of the current aspects to increase its accuracy of the system, streamline the data generation and evaluation process, and assess the accuracy of the system using blind testing.