Noise-based core monitoring and diagnostics – Overview of the CORTEX project
Paper in proceedings, 2017
This paper gives an overview of the CORTEX project, which is a Research and Innovation Action funded by the European Union in the Euratom 2016-2017 work program, under the Horizon 2020 framework. CORTEX, which stands for CORe monitoring Techniques and EXperimental validation and demonstration, aims at developing an innovative core monitoring technique that allows detecting anomalies in nuclear reactors, such as excessive vibrations of core internals, flow blockage, coolant inlet perturbations, etc. The technique is based on primarily using the inherent fluctuations in neutron flux recorded by in-core and ex-core instrumentation (often referred to as neutron noise), from which the anomalies will be differentiated depending on their type, location and characteristics. In addition to be non-intrusive and not requiring any external perturbation of the system, the method allows the detection of operational problems at a very early stage. Proper actions could thus be taken by utilities before such problems have any adverse effect on plant safety and reliability.