Article of the Year 2022
Mechanical Properties Evaluation and Crack Propagation Behavior in Dissimilar Metal Welded Joints of 304 L Austenitic Stainless Steel and SA508 Low-Alloy SteelRead the full article
Science and Technology of Nuclear Installations publishes research on issues related to the nuclear industry, particularly the installations of nuclear technology, and aims to promote development in the area of nuclear sciences and technologies.
Professor Michael I. Ojovan is the Chief Editor of the journal, and is currently based at the University of Sheffield, UK. He is known for many innovations in nuclear research, including metallic and glass-composite materials for nuclear waste immobilisation.
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Shaking Table Testing of a Scaled Nuclear Power Plant Structure with Base Isolation
To investigate the seismic performance and isolation effect of a high-temperature gas-cooled reactor, a 1/20 scale model including a reactor, a spent-fuel plant, and a nuclear auxiliary plant was fabricated. In addition, 220 mm lead-rubber bearings were designed and produced for use in the shaking table test, which included both isolated and nonisolated conditions. Two historical earthquake records and three artificial earthquake motions were used to input the ground motion in the tests. The results demonstrated that the seismic performance of the plant was better and that the structure was in an elastic state, under a safe shutdown earthquake event. Isolation bearings were found to effectively reduce the dominate frequency of the structure. The acceleration amplification factor of the superstructure was found to be less than 1. The isolation test results showed that the peak of the floor response spectrum at the pressure vessel support was less than 0.1 g. In the nonisolation test, the peak of the floor response spectrum was greater than 1 g. In the isolation test, the relative displacement of the structure was less than 1.1 mm, which was relatively small. The structure maintained a good isolation performance and exhibited improved safety under extreme ground motion.
Advancing Small Modular Reactor Technology Assessment in the Czech Republic, Egypt, and Poland
This paper introduces the utilization of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s toolkit for reactor technology assessment (RTA) application to deploy small modular reactors (SMRs) in the Czech Republic, Egypt, and Poland. The increasing demand for clean energy has led to the prominence of small modular reactors (SMRs) in addressing global energy challenges. The successful integration of SMRs into national energy systems necessitates comprehensive evaluations that take into account each country’s specific characteristics and energy requirements. RTA application represents significant progress towards innovative nuclear solutions, advancing a cleaner and more resilient energy future plan. The aim of this study is assessing the feasibility and advantages of SMR implementation in these countries, focusing on energy security, emission reduction, and long-term sustainability. Various SMR technologies, including NuScale, SMART, HTR-PM, BWRX-300, SMR-160, and RITM-200, are comparatively analyzed based on safety, scalability, efficiency, and economic viability. The findings reveal that BWRX-300 suits the needs of the Czech Republic and Poland, while RITM-200 is the optimal choice for Egypt. Moreover, NuScale also stands as a strong alternative for all three countries. This article emphasizes the importance of informed discussions and evidence-based decisions, promoting sustainable energy development and global advancements in nuclear technology. By utilizing SMRs, the Czech Republic, Egypt, and Poland can enhance energy security, reduce emissions, and meet rising energy needs sustainably.
Effect of Inhomogeneous Mechanical Properties on the Stress-Strain Field at the Crack Tip and Crack Growth Direction in Dissimilar Metal Welded Joints
In the failure analysis and safety assessment of dissimilar metal welded joints, the mechanical heterogeneity of local regions is usually ignored and limited sampling locations are selected. The mechanical behavior of the crack tip region is the main variables affecting the environmentally assisted cracking behavior, and it is crucial for understanding the impact of mechanical heterogeneity on the local stress-strain state at the crack tip in welded joints. In this study, the effect of mechanical heterogeneity on the local mechanical behavior at the crack tip and on the stress-strain condition at the crack tip front for different crack sizes was investigated through finite-element simulations based on user-defined material subroutines. The local mechanical behavior of an interface region and crack propagation direction with mechanical heterogeneity and a series of initial crack locations were analyzed. The results show that mechanical heterogeneity has a significant effect on the mechanical condition and growth path of cracks at different sampling locations. The interaction between the mechanical heterogeneity around the crack and the crack depth determines the stress and plastic strain in front of the crack tip, which causes a substantial change in the crack growth path. The interface cracks have high stress and plastic strain; thus, the interface is often the weak position where damage occurs. To guarantee a reliable integrity assessment of cracks in mechanically heterogeneous interface regions, local mechanical properties related to crack locations should be determined and utilized.
A Digital Controller for Reactivity Monitoring and Power Control
This paper introduces a controller unit for reactivity monitoring and automatic power control that was designed and constructed for the 500 kW Dalat Nuclear Research Reactor (DNRR). For power control and reactivity calculations, frequency signals from neutron measurement channels of starting and working ranges of the reactor are used. Two abovementioned independent functions were combined in an Artix-7 FPGA board for determining reactivity values by solving the point reactor kinetics equations with six delayed neutron groups and for stabilizing the reactor power at preset levels by determining the unbalance voltage signal to control the automatic control rod. With real-time calculations, the newly developed controller can monitor the reactor reactivity and control the reactor power online. The developed controller unit’s reactivity measuring and power stabilizing capabilities were assessed using the DNRR in normal operation and assumed emergency conditions and compared with those of the preexisting imported BNO-102R1 module of the DNRR control and protection system, known as ASUZ-14R. The results of the experiments show that the produced FPGA-based unit and the BNO-102R1 unit have the same technical characteristics and features, with the disparities being less than 5% and 1%, respectively, in reactivity measurement and power stabilization. The experimental data of reactivity measurements by the FPGA-based unit and the calculation results were also compared and found that the relative deviations between those are also less than 10%. The developed controller unit is capable of carrying out a variety of training and operational experiments on the DNRR.
A Reduced Order Model Based on ANN-POD Algorithm for Steady-State Neutronics and Thermal-Hydraulics Coupling Problem
The neutronics and thermal-hydraulics (N/TH) coupling behavior analysis is a key issue for nuclear power plant design and safety analysis. Due to the high-dimensional partial differential equations (PDEs) derived from the N/TH system, it is usually time consuming to solve such a large-scale nonlinear equation by the traditional numerical solution method of PDEs. To solve this problem, this work develops a reduced order model based on the proper orthogonal decomposition (POD) and artificial neural networks (ANNs) to simulate the N/TH coupling system. In detail, the POD method is used to extract the POD modes and corresponding coefficients from a set of full-order model results under different boundary conditions. Then, the backpropagation neural network (BPNN) is utilized to map the relationship between the boundary conditions and POD coefficients. Therefore, the physical fields under the new boundary conditions could be calculated by the predicated POD coefficients from ANN and POD modes from snapshot. In order to assess the performance of an ANN-POD-based reduced order method, a simplified pressurized water reactor model under different inlet coolant temperatures and inlet coolant velocities is utilized. The results show that the new reduced order model can accurately predict the distribution of the physical fields, as well as the effective multiplication factor in the N/TH coupling nuclear system, whose relative errors are within 1%.
Design of a Nanosecond Voltage Comparator with PECL Logic for a Photon-Counting Radiation Imaging System Application
In this paper, a nanosecond voltage comparator with PECL logic for a photon-counting radiation imaging system is presented. To realize a high-speed comparison of four gamma detector channels in a limited board space, quad comparators MAX9602 with PECL logic are chosen. Each of the four channels is coupled with a PECL to CMOS converter ICS508, which exports CMOS logic data for later use in an FPGA. Simulated findings for cobalt-60 with intensities ranging from 30 Ci to 300 Ci show little count loss caused by using a comparator and indicate ideal propagation delays at all source intensities. While in the laboratory test using a PCB-level system, signals with pulse width less than 3 ns might be dropped, and dispersion of propagation delay occurs. Despite these, the performance is still satisfactory and can meet the requirements of practical applications, as demonstrated by an improved result of 0.9% in the contrast indicator model. Further studies to optimize the circuit design can be conducted to gain improvement.