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Fuel Management Optimization Using Genetic Algorithms and Expert Knowledge

Michael D. DeChaine, Madeline A. Feltus

Nuclear Science and Engineering

Volume 124 / Number 1 / September 1996 / Pages 188-196


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The CIGARO fuel management optimization code based on genetic algorithms is described and tested. The test problem optimized the core lifetime for a pressurized water reactor with a penalty function constraint on the peak normalized power. A bit-string genotype encoded the loading patterns, and genotype bias was reduced with additional bits. Expert knowledge about fuel management was incorporated into the genetic algorithm. Regional crossover exchanged physically adjacent fuel assemblies and improved the optimization slightly. Biasing the initial population toward a known priority table significantly improved the optimization.

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