Investigation of the ex-core noise induced by fuel assembly vibrations in the Ringhals-3 PWR
Journal article, 2015
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. The effect of cycle burnup on the ex-core detector noise at the frequency of the pendular core barrel vibrations in the Ringhals-3 PWR core was investigated using a neutron noise simulator. The purpose of the investigations was to confirm or disprove a hypothesis raised by Sweeney et al. (1985) that fuel assembly vibrations could affect the ex-core detector noise and cause the corresponding peak in the auto power spectral density (APSD) to increase during the cycle due to the effects of fuel burnup, the change of boron concentration, flux redistribution etc. Numerical calculations were performed by modelling the vibrations of fuel assemblies at different locations in the core and calculating the induced neutron noise at three burnup steps. The APSD of the ex-core detector noise was evaluated with the assumption of vibrations either along a straight-line or along a random two-dimensional trajectory, with two different representations of the cross section perturbations caused by the vibrations. The results show the obvious effect of in-core fuel vibrations on the ex-core detector noise, but the monotonic increase of the APSD does not occur for all fuel elements, vibration types and cross section perturbation models. Such an increase of the of APSD occurs predominantly for peripheral assemblies with one of the perturbation models. However, assuming simultaneous vibrations of a number of fuel assemblies uniformly distributed over the core with random vibrations and the more realistic perturbation model, the effect of the peripheral assemblies will dominate and hence the surmised monotonic increase of the amplitude of the ex-core neutron noise during the cycle can be confirmed.
Fuel assembly vibration