The U-tube Steam Generator (UTSG) of AP1000 Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) is the crucial component transferring heat from the primary loop to the secondary loop to make steam. The UTSG of AP1000 NPP is a highly complex, nonlinear and time-varying system and its parameters vary with operating conditions. Therefore, it is difficult and challenging to well control the water level of AP1000 UTSG by tuning the PID controller parameter in a traditional way, especially when the system is undergoing a sharp transient. To achieve better control performance, the Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) algorithm was applied for the parameter optimization of the AP1000 UTSG feedwater control system in this study. First, the mathematical model of AP1000 UTSG was established and the objective function was developed with the system constraints considered. Second, the simulation platform was built and then the simulation was conducted in MATLAB/Simulink environment. Finally, the optimized parameters were obtained and the feedwater control system with optimized parameters was simulated against that without optimized. The simulation results demonstrate that optimized parameters of AP1000 UTSG feedwater control system can significantly improve the water level control performance with smaller overshoot and faster response. Therefore, the PSO based optimization method can be applied to optimizing AP1000 UTSG feedwater control system parameters to provide much better control capabilities.

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