The determination of the thermal reactor power is traditionally done by establishing the heat balance: • for a boiling water reactor (BWR) at the interface of reactor control volume and heat cycle; • for a pressurized water reactor (PWR) at the interface of the steam generator control volume and turbine island on the secondary side. The uncertainty of these traditional methods is not easy to determine and it can be in the range of several percent. Technical and legal regulations (e.g. 10CFR50) cover an estimated instrumentation error of up to 2% by increasing the design thermal reactor power for emergency analysis to 102% of the licensed thermal reactor power. Basically, the licensee has the duty to warrant at any time operation inside the analysed region for thermal reactor power. This is normally done by keeping the indicated reactor power at the licensed 100% value. A better way is to use a method which allows a continuous warranty evaluation. The quantification of the level of fulfilment of this warranty is only achievable by a method which: • is independent of single measurements accuracies; • results in a certified quality of single process values and for the total heat cycle analysis; • leads to complete results including 2-sigma deviation especially for thermal reactor power. This method, which is called ‘process data reconciliation based on VDI 2048 guideline’, is presented here [1, 2]. The method allows to determine the true process parameters with a statistical probability of 95%, by considering closed material, mass- and energy balances following the Gaussian correction principle. The amount of redundant process information and complexity of the process improves the final results. This represents the most probable state of the process with minimized uncertainty according to VDI 2048. Hence, calibration and control of the thermal reactor power are possible with low effort but high accuracy and independent of single measurement accuracies. Furthermore, VDI 2048 describes the quality control of important process parameters. Applied to the thermal reactor power, the statistical certainty of warranting the allowable value can be quantified. This quantification allows keeping a safety margin in agreement with the authority. This paper presents the operational application of this method at an operating plant and describes the additional use of process data reconciliation for acceptance tests, power recapture and system and component diagnosis.

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