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Journal of Engineering
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 450161, 12 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/450161
Research Article

Analysis of Liquid Zone Control Valve Oscillation Problem in CANDU Reactors

University of Ontario Institute of Technology, 2000 Simcoe Street North, Oshawa, ON, Canada L1H 7K4

Received 14 November 2012; Revised 15 March 2013; Accepted 2 April 2013

Academic Editor: Ibrahim Asi

Copyright © 2013 Elnara Nasimi and Hossam A. Gabbar. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

This paper looks at the existing challenges with steady-state Liquid Zone control at some CANDU (CANada Deuterium Uranium) stations, where—contrary to expectations for equilibrium flow—Liquid Zone Control Valve oscillations have proven to be a chronic, unanticipated challenge. Currently, the exact causes of this behaviour are not fully understood, although it is confirmed that the Control Valve oscillations are not due to automatic power adjustment requests or zone level changes due to process leaks. This phenomenon was analysed based on a case study of one domestic nuclear power station to determine whether it could be attributed to inherent controller properties. Next, a proposal is made in an attempt to improve current performance with minimal changes to the existing system hardware and logic using conventional technologies. Finally, a proposal was made to consider Model Predictive Control-based technology to minimize the undesirable Control Valve oscillations at steady state based on the obtained simulation results and discussion of other available alternatives.