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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.
Bethany R. Colling, T. Eade, M. R. Gilbert, J. Naish, S. Zheng
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 74 | Number 4 | November 2018 | Pages 330-339
Technical Paper | dx.doi.org/10.1080/15361055.2018.1496690
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
Computational models created for neutronics assessment through solid geometry conversion are often specific to the analysis being performed. The use of unstructured mesh geometry has the potential to reduce the build time of MCNP models, reduce inaccuracies introduced through flux averaging over different components and material mixing, and make use of computer-aided design models that can also be suitable for other types of analysis. In this paper three neutronics methods were investigated for suitability in performing a radioactive waste assessment of a fusion demonstration reactor. The methods included the conventional cell-based approach, a superimposed structured mesh, and the use of a recently developed capability with unstructured mesh geometry. It was concluded that an unstructured mesh approach has the potential to be an important tool for assessing radioactive waste to inform reactor and component design.