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Nuclear Science and Engineering
Fusion Science and Technology
Neutron noise monitoring during plant operation expedites flexure replacement at Salem-1
The nuclear industry has historically relied on intermittent ultrasonic test and visual inspections of pressurized water reactor components to identify and manage degradation. While this reactive approach has proven to be effective, imagine a scenario in which the degradation could propagate throughout the reactor internals, making a more proactive measure necessary to avoid a major enterprise risk to the plant. Could a utility identify the onset of degradation within the reactor internals during plant operation? If so, could a repair be developed prior to the next refueling outage to prevent additional, cascading degradation? That is exactly the situation that Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) and Westinghouse engineers were able to navigate over the course of the 2019–2020 operating cycle at Salem Unit 1, resulting in a tremendous success for the plant and a historic landmark in the nuclear industry, while earning the team a 2021 Nuclear Energy Institute Top Innovative Practice (TIP) award.
L. M. Reusch, P. Franz, D. J. Den Hartog, J. A. Goetz, M. D. Nornberg, P. VanMeter
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 74 | Number 1 | July-August 2018 | Pages 167-176
Technical Note | dx.doi.org/10.1080/15361055.2017.1404340
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
Soft–X-ray (SXR) brightness measurements contain information on a number of physics parameters in fusion plasmas; however, it is nearly impossible to extract the information without modeling. A validated forward model is therefore necessary for the accurate interpretation of SXR measurements and will be critical in the burning plasma era, where medium- and high-Z impurities are ever present. The Atomic Data and Analysis Structure (ADAS) database is a powerful interpretive tool that is extensively used to model and predict atomic spectra, level populations, and ionization balance for fusion plasmas. These predictions are in good agreement with experimental measurements. However, continuum radiation in the X-ray range, while also modeled in ADAS, has not been rigorously verified or tested against experimental data. We therefore performed a systematic comparison of ADAS to a simplified model called PFM. PFM only calculates continuum radiation but shows good agreement with experimental data when only continuum radiation is present. ADAS and the simplified model agree to within 1% to 2% indicating that ADAS is calculating continuum radiation correctly. We have also begun a validation of SXR brightness calculations from ADAS. The SXR brightness measurements modeled by ADAS agree well with experimental measurements from an extreme where the signal is dominated by line radiation continuously through another extreme where the signal is dominated by continuum emission. While this validation work is preliminary, it strongly suggests that ADAS accurately models the physics that lead to SXR radiation.