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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Direct digital control algorithm for low power nuclear reactors Harvey, Geoffrey Alan


A direct digital control algorithm for low power reactors is proposed using logarithmic power level as input. The logarithmic power levels allow the use of fixed point arithmic resulting in faster calculation speeds than are obtainable with algorithms using floating point arithmetic. A stability analysis for various sampled data hold types is shown to have a 25% safety margin. A time optimal control sequence for power increases is derived using switch points. The switch points are determined using simulation techniques, eliminating the use of complex and approximate calculations. A practical demand level controller is developed using machine language programming to minimize the delay from the sampling of the neutron power to the output of control action. The controller is tested with digital and analog simulations of a thermal reactor showing that a successful, near time-optimal, control algorithm with general applications to low power reactors has been developed.

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