This paper presents the simulator of a high level nuclear power plant modelled in Simulink/MATLAB. It borrows also elements from SimHydraulics. The model is based on an energy balance across the main components in both the primary and secondary loops, however it does not include the reactor core kinetics/burn up and heat transfer/decay heat calculations yet. Further the simulator is not aimed to safety analysis.

The primary components (both high and low pressure turbines including moisture separator, condenser, steam generator, etc.) have all been modelled using correlations and vendors data. The secondary side in particular models the transition of states (evaporation, condensation) based on look up tables.

The model was validated with available data from a commercial nuclear plant design (the Westinghouse AP1000) and from a small reactor design (S.I.R., Safe Integral Reactor). Comparative values demonstrate that the model supports a number of different plant configurations and it can be successfully utilised in nuclear reactor preliminary design. Furthermore, it can be used to identify the consequences of various design choices.

Future developments will include the reactor core physics using a 6-group delayed neutrons model as well as more detailed turbine and other components automotive, aerospace, power generation. In nuclear power two notable plant simulators are PCTRAN and PANTHER. PC-TRAN (6) is a PCbased reactor simulation software which was first designed for the Westinghouse AP600 and later expanded to the AP1000, Areva EPR and other light water reactors. PANTHER (Pitt Advanced Nuclear Training for Higher Education Reactor) (4) is a desktop AP1000 nuclear plant operations simulator developed at the University of Pittsburgh. Both simulators are not suited for the analysis of new nuclear reactors design. PC-TRAN in fact cannot run simulations of variants of a design in order to provide ‘before and after’ comparisons while PANTHER is mainly an educational simulator and it is unfinished. Further both simulators are not capable of modelling small modular reactors since they miss a model for once though steam generators.

Here we present a scoping design tool for the preliminary design of nuclear reactors. The tool proves to be very valuable for the performance evaluation of new small modular reactors design. The model was built using MATLAB, Simulink and SymHydraulics as they provide already some validated components model and allow model configuration flexibility and accuracy.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.