IN CORE FUEL MANAGEMENT: PWR Group Constants Generation Using PSU-LEOPARD Code
A nuclear reactor core performance data visualization system provides a method and apparatus for extracting and visually displaying large amounts of numerical performance data acquired from an operational nuclear reactor or from a nuclear reactor core simulator.
After acquiring performance parameter data, the visualization system computer extracts selected performance data and constructs two distinct data arrays , in memory that are used in creating formatted files for generating specific types of visual displays. A first data array , containing time-varying reactor performance parameter data corresponding to the performance of reactor core elements in two dimensions over a predetermined duration of time, is used to create digital image animation files for displaying dynamic color-coded graphics, including reactor core element diagrams and mufti-ordinate graphs.
Once animated, the displayed graphics allow the user to view a time-wise evolution of the changing numerical values for selected core parameters and other timedependent variables. A second data array , containing spatially-related core performance parameter data corresponding to performance of reactor core elements in three dimensions at one or more selected points in time, is used to create virtual reality modeling language VRML files for displaying a virtual 3-D color-coded reactor core model that can be manipulated in three dimensions by the viewer.
The invention relates generally to nuclear reactor and, more particularly, to a method and apparatus for extracting and visually displaying core performance data from either a nuclear reactor core simulator or an operating nuclear reactor. In the process of making key decisions concerning the design, licensing and operation of nuclear power plants many reactor core performance parameters, such as Minimum Critical Power Ratio MCPR and Linear Heat Generation Rate LHGR , must be carefully examined and studied by engineers and nuclear plant operators.
Access to performance parameter data is important because these parameters reflect the continually changing thermal-hydraulic and thermal-mechanical conditions of the various elements which make up a reactor core -- such as, for example, the many fuel rod bundles and control blades.
However, due to the dynamic nature of these parameters throughout a typical month core cycle one core "cycle" being the period of time after which one-third of the fuel bundles are due to be replaced , review of a vast amount of time-dependent performance parameter data may be required to adequately identify potential design or operational problems for any particular reactor core.
Traditionally, measured or simulated reactor core performance parameter data is printed or displayed as numerical values in the form of tables and simple two-dimensional graphs. Due to the complexity of the engineering concepts involved, the examination and interpretation of time-varying, dynamic, multi-dimensional reactor performance data presented in this static form requires highly trained technical personnel having extensive knowledge and experience with nuclear reactor design, licensing requirements and operational limits.
Moreover, partially due to the large amount of information, it is often an extremely laborious and time-consuming endeavor that can easily consume hundreds of costly man-hours.
In addition, because of the traditional dependence on static numeric tables and non-animated two-dimensional graphs to portray information relating to time-varying three-dimensional parameters, reactor core performance is both difficult to analyze and prone to misinterpretation.
Consequently, it would be desirable to be able to efficiently present complex nuclear engineering problems involving the review of large amounts of nuclear reactor performance data using a more intuitive manner of data presentation.
In addition, it would be desirable to perform time-consuming evaluations of reactor core operating parameters using a more intuitive manner of data presentation.
In this regard, the present invention attempts to accomplish these objectives and overcome the inefficiencies of traditional approaches toward presenting and reviewing reactor performance data by providing specific data visualization tools that will enable nuclear engineers and reactor plant operators to view selected time-varying reactor core parameters as three-dimensional animation sequences, dynamic two-dimensional contour plots and manipulatable three-dimensional objects in a virtual reality environment.
Since the operational parameters of a reactor core vary over time, the use of digital animation and three-dimensional representations to display the time-varying behavior of multiple nuclear core performance parameters can significantly reduce the decision-making time required in determining core operational limits or in evaluating new core designs.
In an exemplary embodiment of the invention, a reactor core performance visualization system is provided that allows plant operators and engineers to view selected time-varying core parameters as three-dimensional animation sequences, dynamic two-dimensional contour plots or as a manipulatable image object in a virtual reality environment. Consequently, the present disclosure is directed toward a method and system for acquiring, extracting and visually displaying core performance data obtained from either an operating nuclear reactor core or a nuclear reactor core simulator.
The reactor core performance visualization system of the present invention includes a data processor which may be, for example, an Intel Pentium TM type processor found in conventional desktop personal computer systems having a large data storage capacity and a color monitor or other display device capable of handling multi-color graphics. Initially, the performance visualization system acquires pertinent reactor core performance data from, for example, a reactor process control computer or a nuclear reactor core simulator via a communications link.
Alternatively, the method and apparatus of the present invention could be incorporated as a part of a reactor process control computer or a reactor core simulation computer.
PWR Nuclear Reactor
Different types of reactor core performance data are identified, separated and organized into two separate data arrays stored in the visualization system computer memory. A first data array is constructed of spatially-related time-varying performance parameter data corresponding to reactor elements in two dimensions and organized, for example, according to its associated two-dimensional core location coordinate information x, y. A second data array is constructed of spatially-related reactor core performance parameter data corresponding to performance of reactor elements in three dimensions at one or more selected point s in time and organized, for example, according to its associated three-dimensional spacial location coordinate x, y, z within the core.
The visualization system then utilizes data from the first array to create digital animation display files for illustrating the time-wise evolution of the reactor core performance parameters.
These files are preferably formatted using a conventional digital protocol for creating digital image animation files such as, for example, Microsoft Corporation's audio visual interleave AVI file protocol.
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In a similar manner, the three-dimensional spatially-related information stored in the second data array is used to generate virtual reality modeling language VRML protocol files. These VRML files are used by the visualization system to display a three-dimensional 3-D model of a portion of a reactor core, portraying the 3-D configuration of fuel and control elements within the core, the viewing perspective of which may be manipulated by the viewer.
The use of AVI and VRML protocol files in the present invention further allows for the easy and convenient transmission and exchange of reactor core performance information between parties using computers having conventional World Wide Web browser software with the appropriate VRML and AVI software plug-ins , and communicating either over a local network or over larger distances via the internet.
Utilizing one feature of the present invention, a reactor plant operator or engineer can view 2-D animated color-coded diagrams that both illustrate the positional configuration of elements within the core and indicate the value of the selected performance parameter for each element.
Information is displayed for indicating the current burn cycle "exposure" time of a particular core element and the location in the core where operational or regulatory limits have been or will be exceeded. In this manner, any actual or potential violation of predetermined core operating limits can be easily and quickly identified visually.
Utilizing another feature of the present invention, a reactor plant operator or engineer can control the view and orientation of a displayed 3-D virtual reality model of a reactor core to examine performance parameters of multiple core elements simultaneously.
Pwr nuclear reactor pdf viewer
In addition, the virtual reality 3-D display feature of the visualization system can be operated so as to provide a simulated visual "fly-through" or "fly-around" tour of the reactor core. For these and other reasons apparent from the discussions of the best mode of the invention below, the present invention provides a much needed and more intuitive 3-D visualization tool for evaluating critical core safety and performance parameter data.
An embodiment of the invention will now be described, by way of example,with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:- FIGURE 1 is a block diagram of the reactor core performance visualization system illustrated in an arrangement for processing data from an operating nuclear reactor core; FIGURE 2 is a block diagram of the reactor core performance visualization system illustrated in an arrangement for processing data from a nuclear reactor core simulator; FIGURE 3 is an example computer display screen image of a single frame from a reactor core performance animation sequence; FIGURES 4 - 6 are example computer display screen images of a 3-D virtual reality model of a nuclear reactor core;.
In an exemplary embodiment of present invention, the data visualization system is configured to run as a software application under MicroSoft's Windows95 or 98 TM operating system. In this manner, a user may enter various performance parameter selection criterion and visualization system commands for manipulating displayed images via keyboard or, for example, a point-and-click desk-top mouse input device. Referring now to FIGURE 1, the core performance data visualization system of the present invention is described in the context of communicating with an operational nuclear reactor.
As indicated in block , sensors and instrumentation located in an operational nuclear reactor core not shown provide real-time measurement data to some sort of reactor control computer or, for example, to a reactor core monitoring system computer Numerical core performance data acquired by core monitoring system computer is provided to the data visualization system of the present invention via a digital communications channel The visualization system apparatus includes a digital computer or central processing unit , preferably having a large data storage capacity including both working RAM and archival storage, input devices such as a keyboard and a mouse not shown , and a high resolution color display device Upon acquiring all pertinent core performance data from core monitoring system computer , visualization system computer constructs two distinct data arrays, and , in memory from temporal and spatially-related core performance data.
These two data arrays are then used in creating specially formatted files for generating different types of visual displays viewable on system monitor Moreover, although the data visualization system of the present invention uses conventional AVI and VRML file protocols, other multimedia file protocols could be employed in the present invention for constructing and viewing the animation and 3-D image files. Referring again to FIGURE 1, data array is constructed in computer memory by visualization system computer from 2-D two-dimensional spatially-related time-varying core performance parameter data, P x,y,t , received from core monitoring computer This data includes various different performance parameter values associated with each element in the core and is indexed within array according to a time value elapsed real or exposure time and a two-dimensional location coordinate for the particular core element.
Visualization system computer then uses the P x,y,t data to create AVI digital image animation files for displaying a variety of dynamic color-coded graphics, such as reactor core element diagrams and multi-ordinate graphs. Conventional AVI file viewing software, resident in the visualization system computer memory, is used to access animation files and display the animated 2-D color coded graphics on display device Preferably, the visualization system of the present invention utilizes the conventional MicroSoft Windows TM operating system environment to provide a user-friendly interface having parameter and display selection menus not shown to allow the viewer to select from a variety of display arrangements.
Another data array is formed in system memory from 3-D three-dimensional spatially-related core performance parameter information, P x,y,z , that was or is indicative of the state of the reactor core at a selected point s in time.
The P x,y,z data in array is then formatted by visualization system computer into virtual reality modeling language VRML files Conventional VRML file viewing software, resident in the visualization system computer memory, is used to access VRML files and display a virtual 3-D color-coded reactor core model image that can be manipulated in three dimensions by the viewer.
In FIGURE 2, an alternate embodiment of the reactor core performance visualization system of the present invention is shown in the context of obtaining performance data from a reactor core simulator. In this embodiment, a nuclear reactor core simulator computer, , provides simulated core performance parameter data via data channel to the core performance data visualization system. Just as described above with respect to Figure 1, visualization computer selects and organizes this data into two separate arrays, and , which are then used to respectively create AVI animation files and VRML files for producing a visual image s on display device FIGURE 3 shows a single frame of an example animation sequence generated by the reactor core performance visualization system computer.
In a preferred embodiment, spatially-related time-varying data, P x,y,t , for one or more selected reactor core performance parameters e. The range of colors used by the visualization system in displaying the various diagrams and graphics are set to correspond to the range of numerical values possible for the particular performance parameter s selected for display.
In this example embodiment, control blades are represented by cross-beam figures , , and fuel bundles are represented by vertical strings of color-coded cubes or blocks , , The displayed color of each block is indicative of a numerical value or range for a selected performance parameter. In a preferred embodiment, the color of a particular block is indicative of the power being produced at a corresponding physical portion of the fuel bundle, e. A color-coded multi-square diagram represents the physical configuration as viewed from above of fuel bundles and control blades within a one-quarter section of a reactor core.
Indicia identifying the particular performance parameter data selected for display by the viewer e. Immediately below the parameter identification, a numerical value indicative of the elapsed "exposure" or "burn" time of the represented elements within the reactor core is displayed, e. Square color-coded boxes represent fuel bundles and cross-like symbols represent control blades.
The color of each box or block is representative of the power produced by the fuel bundle at the current exposure time. Each box also contains x and y location indicia indicative of its position relative to other bundles in the core.
Another larger numerical indicia indicates the value of the currently selected performance parameter e. CPR associated with the particular fuel bundle. The cross-like symbols representing control blades include central numeric indicia that represent the vertical height of the control blade within the reactor core. Since the numerical values for various characteristics are time dependent, the displayed indicia are dynamic and will change during the animation sequence.
The above described visualization system and method for presenting nuclear reactor core performance data is believed to be applicable to a wide range of reactors and core lading arrangements for reducing the man-hours of decision-making time required in determining core operational limits and evaluating nuclear core designs. In addition, the visualization system of the present invention is not intended to be limited solely to the use of the AVI protocol or VRML for creating animation of 3-D virtual reality modeling files from the acquired performance parameter data.
All rights reserved. A SumoBrain Solutions Company. Login Sign up. Search Expert Search Quick Search. Nuclear reactor core performance data visualization system. Click for automatic bibliography generation. EP Method and device for multimedia visualisation of complex systems EP Two and three dimensional core power distribution monitor and display.
The method of claim 1 wherein said step of acquiring nuclear reactor core performance data further includes the steps, executed by a computer, of: creating in computer memory a first data array comprising time-varying reactor core performance parameter data; and creating in computer memory a second data array comprising spatially-related core performance parameter data corresponding to one or more selected points in time.
PWR – Pressurized water reactor
The system of claim 4 wherein the computer includes a user interface input device and executable program instruction means for enabling a viewer to control a displayed perspective and viewing position of a 3-D virtual reality model image based on information from one or more of said virtual reality model image files.
The system of claim 4 wherein an animation sequence play-back rate of displayed image animation file information may be selected and controlled by a viewer. A nuclear reactor core performance data visualization system for displaying time-varying reactor core performance parameters comprising a computes connected to a color graphics display device , said visualization system having a display arrangement including an animated reactor core configuration diagram wherein reactor fuel bundles are represented by color-coded boxes labeled with numerical indicia indicative of a selected performance parameter value, and reactor control blades are represented by cross-like figures positioned between the boxes and labeled with numerical indicia representing a vertical position within a reactor core.
A nuclear reactor core performance data visualization system as set forth in claim 11 wherein the boxes representing fuel bundles are further labeled with indicia indicative of relative bundle position within a reactor core.
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A nuclear reactor core performance data visualization system as set forth in claim 11 wherein relative positions of the boxes in the display arrangement correspond to positions of fuel bundles within a reactor core. A nuclear reactor core performance data visualization system as set forth in claim 11 wherein indicia and color of the boxes change dynamically during display in accordance with changes in numerical value of associated performance parameters. Next Patent Cask and production Method and device for multimedia visualisation of complex systems.
Two and three dimensional core power distribution monitor and display.