Since RELAP5 code has general and advanced features in thermal-hydraulic computation, it has been widely used in transient and accident safety analysis, experiment planning analysis, and system simulation, etc. So we wish to design, analyze, verify a new Instrumentation And Control (I&C) system of Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) based on the best-estimated code, and even develop our engineering simulator. But because of limited function of simulating control and protection system in RELAP5, it is necessary to expand the function for high efficient, accurate, flexible design and simulation of I&C system. Matlab/Simulink, a scientific computation software, just can compensate the limitation, which is a powerful tool in research and simulation of plant process control. The software is selected as I&C part to be coupled with RELAP5 code to realize system simulation of NPPs. There are two key techniques to be solved. One is the dynamic data exchange, by which Matlab/Simulink receives plant parameters and returns control results. Database is used to communicate the two codes. Accordingly, Dynamic Link Library (DLL) is applied to link database in RELAP5, while DLL and S-Function is applied in Matlab/Simulink. The other problem is synchronization between the two codes for ensuring consistency in global simulation time. Because Matlab/Simulink always computes faster than RELAP5, the simulation time is sent by RELAP5 and received by Matlab/Simulink. A time control subroutine is added into the simulation procedure of Matlab/Simulink to control its simulation advancement. Through these ways, Matlab/Simulink is dynamically coupled with RELAP5. Thus, in Matlab/Simulink, we can freely design control and protection logic of NPPs and test it with best-estimated plant model feedback. A test will be shown to illuminate that results of coupling calculation are nearly the same with one of single RELAP5 with control logic. In practice, a real Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) is modeled by RELAP5 code, and its main control and protection system is duplicated by Matlab/Simulink. Some steady states and transients are calculated under control of these I&C systems, and the results are compared with the plant test curves. The application showed that it can do exact system simulation of NPPs by coupling RELAP5 and Matlab/Simulink. This paper will mainly focus on the coupling method, plant thermal-hydraulic model, main control logics, test and application results.

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