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Developments in Core-Barrel Motion Monitoring and Applications to the Ringhals PWR Units

Imre Pázsit, Cristina Montalvo, Henrik Nylén, Tell Andersson, Augusto Hernández-Solís, Petty Bernitt Cartemo

Nuclear Science and Engineering / Volume 182 / Number 2 / February 2016 / Pages 213-227

Technical Paper /

First Online Publication:January 20, 2016
Updated:February 2, 2016

Core-barrel motion (CBM) surveillance and diagnostics, based on the amplitude of the peaks of the normalized auto power spectral densities (APSDs) of the ex-core neutron detectors, have been performed and continuously developed in Sweden and were applied for monitoring of the three PWR units, Ringhals 2 to 4. From 2005, multiple measurements were taken during each fuel cycle, and these revealed a periodic behavior of the 8-Hz peak of the beam-mode motion: the amplitude increases within the cycle and returns to a lower value at the beginning of the next cycle. The work reported in this paper aims to clarify the physical reason for this behavior. A combination of a mode separation method in the time domain and a nonlinear curve-fitting procedure of the frequency spectra revealed that two types of vibration phenomena contribute to the beam-mode peak. The lower frequency peak around 7 Hz in the ex-core detector APSDs corresponds to the CBM, whose amplitude does not change during the cycle. The higher frequency peak around 8 Hz arises from the individual vibrations of the fuel assemblies, and its amplitude increases monotonically during the cycle. This paper gives an account of the work that has been made to verify the above hypothesis.

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