To introduce the students to methods and practices supporting the defense-in-depth approach for nuclear power plants.
- To present elements of nuclear safety philosophy.
- To understand how to insure the link between nuclear safety and reactor operation.
- To master all the contributors to the core reactivity balance and power distribution in normal operation.
- To understand specific measurement and control issues in nuclear reactors.
- To introduce the basic notions and techniques of system reliability engineering.
- To understand the concepts of safety analyses (both deterministic and probabilistic), and the fundamentals of probabilistic safety analysis (PSA).
- To present some PSA-based applications.
Operation & Control (28h)
- Cycle specific safety evaluation methodology.
- Basic principles of the in-core fuel management based on the linear reactivity model.
- Reactivity coefficients (moderator, Doppler), neutron poisons (xenon, samarium, …), their variation with burnup and core state parameters and their impact on core power distribution.
- Reactivity control means (boron, control rods, burnable poisons) and their sensitivity to the core burnup and in-core fuel management parameters.
- Operating modes, operating limits and protection diagram.
- Fuel rod design and thermal-mechanical behavior in normal operation and accidental conditions.
- Thermal-design procedures and elaboration of the core thermal limits and core protections.
- Core control, surveillance and protection systems
Optional visits and laboratory session:
- Visit of a Nuclear Power Plant.
- Two day session of compact and full scope Nuclear Power Plant simulator.
Reliability & Safety (14h theory + 6h exercises)
- Introduction to nuclear safety and defence in depth
- Concept of risk, individual and societal risk criteria, release limits, core damage frequency limit,
- safety goals at function or system level
- Deterministic vs. probabilistic safety analyses
- Probabilistic safety assessment (PSA) methodology and PSA levels
- Component reliability
- Fault tree and event tree analysis
- Markov analysis
- Common cause failure analysis
- Elements of human reliability analysis
- Elements of the level 2 and level 3 PSA methodology
- Limits of the classical PSA methodology
- PSA-based applications
Seminar: description of nuclear accidents (TMI, Chernobyl, Fukushima-Daiichi…)
Course material and reference books
The PowerPoint presentations of the lectures, and extensive lecture notes, are available on the BNEN website.
Other useful references:
Operation & Control
- Collection Génie Atomique "La chaudière des réacteurs à eau sous pression" Ed. EDP Sciences, 2004
- Collection Génie Atomique « Exploitation des coeurs REP », Ed. EDP Sciences, 2008
- USNRC Technical Training Center, « Pressurized Water Reactor Systems”
Reliability & Safety
- McCormick, N., Reliability and Risk Analysis – Methods and Nuclear Power Applications, Academic Press, New York, 1981.
- Henley, E.J. and Kumamoto, H., Reliability Engineering and Risk Analysis, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, 1981.
- Modarres, M., What Every Engineer Should Know about Reliability and Risk Analysis, Dekker Inc., New York, 1993.
- Kumamoto, H., and Henley, E.J., Probabilistic Risk Assessment and Management for Engineers and Scientists, 2nd Edition, John Wiley & Sons, New York, 2001.
- Bedford, T. and Cooke, R., Probabilistic Risk Analysis, Foundations and Methods, Cambridge University Press, New York, 2001.
Pre-assumed knowledge or prerequisites
Courses in the following field
- Nuclear reactor theory
- Nuclear thermal hydraulics
Grading and examination
Operation & Control
First and second session: Individual oral exam, closed book, written preparation
Reliability & Safety
First and second session: Written examination (closed book).
- The grade will be determined by weighing the grades on the separate parts, in proportion to the number of ECTS per part. In case of a failure for one of the parts, the examination committee can decide to penalize by lowering the final grade.
- The examination of the separate parts of this course can be scheduled on multiple days.