Welcome to our oasis of insight into the subject of reactor behavior:

THE NUCLEAR REACTOR OPERATOR TRAINING HOMEPAGE

last update of Homepage ... September 17, 2004

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To assist your revisits, by identifying new material added since your previous visit, please check the last homepage update at the top of this page and main index updates (in parentheses) that follow on this page. Please make a selection from the index menu below.


WHAT THIS SITE IS ABOUT

This site is dedicated to the subject of basic reactor behavior as needed by nuclear reactor operators everywhere in order to understand and safely operate a nuclear reactor. The treatment is limited to thermal reactors only, some topics being generic, and other topics being specific to the typical commercial U.S. Boiling Water Reactors (BWRs) and Pressurized Water Reactors (PWRs) which are fueled with slightly enriched uranium. No attempt is made to address the subject of fast reactors or reactors using other fuel types.

The purpose of utilizing the web is to allow ease of access and to attain the widest possible dissemination in order to counter much conventional wisdom about reactor behavior that is seriously flawed. The innovative concepts found herein provide unique insight into the real nature of thermal reactor behavior and are found in no other training resource. ... RGS (8/12/01)


STUDENT EDITIONS of THE PWR and BWR REACTOR TRAINERS

The Reactor Trainer is the most powerful hands-on nuclear reactor training tool ever developed. Trainers are used by many domestic and international nuclear training centers to enhance class room instruction in reactor behavior for prospective reactor operators. Trainers are also employed by university nuclear engineering programs for interactive learning, one of the most effective methods known for acquiring special knowledge and skills.

Two versions of the Reactor Trainer exist. For several years, a licensed Professional Edition has been used by Nuclear Training Center instructors for class room learning. Now, because of many requests by instructors and students for a version usable on their personal computers, the simplified Student Edition is being made available in 2004 as freeware. Every reactor operator, every prospective reactor operator, all nuclear engineers, and all students in a nuclear engineering programs are invited to use the Student Edition as an invaluable tool of their profession.

The Reactor Trainers (both PWR and BWR models) present graphical displays of important basic reactor concepts and real time reactor behavior. Possible operational evolutions include reactor startup, heatup, power escalation, and shutdown. The Professional Edition of the Reactor Trainer remains available by license for a nominal fee.

See "Student Edition" in the index below. 7/8/04


* NEW: THE GENERAL EQUATION for PRECURSOR INVENTORY *

This essay revisits the precursor inventory, detailing the derivation of an equation used in Nukefact #30 for generating the lambda-effective diagram. The expression is exact for all possible reactor conditions having a constant k-effective - including superprompt-criticality. ... RGS (9/17/04)

* * THE GENERAL EQUATION for REACTOR POWER * *

This essay revisits the topic of reactor power, this time with the exact definition from the neutron balance equation. Power is determined based on the nuclear status, specifically from the value of a constant k-effective and the precursor inventory for all possible reactor conditions - including superprompt-criticality. ... RGS (9/01/04)

* * THE PRECURSOR BALANCE EQUATION * *

The precursor balance equation is the second of two equations essential for defining basic reactor behavior. Several forms of the precursor balance are presented in this Nukefact essay. The next several essays will solve the balance equations for important reactor behavioral properties. This series on the balance equations is so important to defining reactor behavior that it is now listed as a separate section in the index of essays, namely as "The Balance Equations". ... RGS (8/17/04)

* * THE NEUTRON BALANCE EQUATION * *

The neutron balance equation is one of two equations essential for defining basic reactor behavior. Several forms of the neutron balance are presented in this Nukefact essay. The next essay will present the second essential equation, the precursor balance equation. ... RGS (8/07/04)

* * MAJOR ESSAY on THE BALANCE EQUATIONS * *

It has been 18 months since our last NUKEFACT essay. I think you will find the wait to have been worthwhile. The balance equations are the starting point for anyone interested in understanding reactor behavior. They are exact and they apply to all possible values of keff, without exception. The balance equations are the ROSETTA STONE of reactor behavior.

Based on the balance equations, this essay presents a number of key expressions in their complete form, as they should have been presented in the first place. The result is that these expressions give exact numeric results and clearly reveal the underlying physical process associated with reactor behavior.

The operational approximations now in use break down for certain conditons, e.g. the source multiplication equation fails at criticality and beyond, the prompt jump equation fails for large keff, and the reactor period equation fails at prompt criticality. This is not surprising since a key term in the neutron balance was "thrown out" at the very start. Then, when the corrupted results are applied to extreme conditions, they fail. This does little for student confidence in the theory.

In current training of reactor operators, the propagating factor for the chain reactions, commonly known as keff, is not properly defined to account for delayed neutrons. If we can't get keff right to start with, then there is definitely a very real problem. ... RGS 5/29/04)


* * FREE ... DEMO TRAINING SOFTWARE ... FREE * *

including professional editions


* * DON'T MISS THESE * *

The NRC has placed their GFE Question Banks, BWR and PWR, on their web site (http://www.nrc.gov/NRR/GFE/index.html). Several Nukefact essays identify defective questions. Nukefact #66 identifies sixty-four reasons why NRC Reactor Theory is Fallacy.

ALSO

See NUKEFACT #65 for a listing of errors in The DOE Fundamentals Handbook - Nuclear Physics and Reactor Theory



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