Reload Startup Physics Tests

In conjunction with each refueling or other significant reactor core alternation, reactor startup physics tests are required to determine if the operating characteristics of the core are consistent with the core design calculations (pre-calculated). Therefore key nuclear safety parameters must be also verified experimentally during physics tests at low power.

Key nuclear safety parameters are selected as a minimal set of parameters that describes the behaviour of a reactor core during transients and accidents assumed in safety analyses (SAR).

The set of key nuclear safety parameters selected for low power physics tests includes:

  • Reactivity balance
    • Measurement of critical boron concentration
    • Flux symmetry measurements
  • Reactivity coefficients such as:
  • Reactivity control:
    • Control rod worths
    • Immediate reactivity after reactor trip

Following the low power physics tests, the power distribution must be verified. Power distribution tests are performed at higher power levels (e.g. between 30% – 50% of rated power).

See also: Initial Test Programs for Water-cooled Nuclear Power Plants, Regulatory Guide 1.68, U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, June 2013.

See also: Reload startup physics tests for pressurized water reactor, American National Standard, ANSI/ANS – 19.6.1-2011, January 2011.

Nuclear and Reactor Physics:

  1. J. R. Lamarsh, Introduction to Nuclear Reactor Theory, 2nd ed., Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA (1983).
  2. J. R. Lamarsh, A. J. Baratta, Introduction to Nuclear Engineering, 3d ed., Prentice-Hall, 2001, ISBN: 0-201-82498-1.
  3. W. M. Stacey, Nuclear Reactor Physics, John Wiley & Sons, 2001, ISBN: 0- 471-39127-1.
  4. Glasstone, Sesonske. Nuclear Reactor Engineering: Reactor Systems Engineering, Springer; 4th edition, 1994, ISBN: 978-0412985317
  5. W.S.C. Williams. Nuclear and Particle Physics. Clarendon Press; 1 edition, 1991, ISBN: 978-0198520467
  6. G.R.Keepin. Physics of Nuclear Kinetics. Addison-Wesley Pub. Co; 1st edition, 1965
  7. Robert Reed Burn, Introduction to Nuclear Reactor Operation, 1988.
  8. U.S. Department of Energy, Nuclear Physics and Reactor Theory. DOE Fundamentals Handbook, Volume 1 and 2. January 1993.

Advanced Reactor Physics:

  1. K. O. Ott, W. A. Bezella, Introductory Nuclear Reactor Statics, American Nuclear Society, Revised edition (1989), 1989, ISBN: 0-894-48033-2.
  2. K. O. Ott, R. J. Neuhold, Introductory Nuclear Reactor Dynamics, American Nuclear Society, 1985, ISBN: 0-894-48029-4.
  3. D. L. Hetrick, Dynamics of Nuclear Reactors, American Nuclear Society, 1993, ISBN: 0-894-48453-2. 
  4. E. E. Lewis, W. F. Miller, Computational Methods of Neutron Transport, American Nuclear Society, 1993, ISBN: 0-894-48452-4.

See above: