Testing of an Integrated Reactor Core Simulator and Power Conversion System with Simulated Reactivity FeedbackA Direct Drive Gas-Cooled (DDG) reactor core simulator has been coupled to a Brayton Power Conversion Unit (BPCU) for integrated system testing at NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) in Cleveland, OH. This is a closed-cycle system that incorporates an electrically heated reactor core module, turbo alternator, recuperator, and gas cooler. Nuclear fuel elements in the gas-cooled reactor design are replaced with electric resistance heaters to simulate the heat from nuclear fuel in the corresponding fast spectrum nuclear reactor. The thermodynamic transient behavior of the integrated system was the focus of this test series. In order to better mimic the integrated response of the nuclear-fueled system, a simulated reactivity feedback control loop was implemented. Core power was controlled by a point kinetics model in which the reactivity feedback was based on core temperature measurements; the neutron generation time and the temperature feedback coefficient are provided as model inputs. These dynamic system response tests demonstrate the overall capability of a non-nuclear test facility in assessing system integration issues and characterizing integrated system response times and response characteristics.
Bragg-Sitton, Shannon M. (Texas A&M Univ. College Station, TX, United States)
Hervol, David S. (QinetiQ North America Cleveland, OH, United States)
Godfroy, Thomas J. (Maximum Technology Corp. Huntsville, AL, United States)