Control rod worth prediction in a Materials Test Reactor by finite difference solution of the two-group point reactor kinetics equations

Abstract

A finite difference model was developed in order to predict control rod worth from a set of power measurements following an insertion of reactivity. The model is based on the solution of the point reactor kinetics equations in the two energy group formalism where thermal reactivity is varied to model the gravitational (and thus quadratic) insertion of a control rod in a scram scenario. The model was tested using power measurements from the McMaster Nuclear Reactor during the insertion of two different control rods to shut down the reactor from a low initial power. The model was found to agree with the worths of the two control rods within an order of magnitude, and fail to reproduce the decay rate in power observed for sufficiently high reactivity insertions, leading to the belief that lack of feedback effects constitutes the biggest failure in the model currently.

Author Biography

Jonathan Christian Saraco, McMaster University
Engineering Physics Undergraduate Student

References

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Published
2018-01-16