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Building A Reactor Simulator As A Senior Project

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Innovative Practices in NRE Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.280.1 - 10.280.6



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Paper Authors

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Monty Smith

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Jerome Davis

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Charles Bittle

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Mitty Plummer

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 0000

Building a Reactor Simulator as a Senior Project

By Mitty C. Plummer, Monty Smith, Jerome J Davis, Charles C. Bittle

University of North Texas

I. Introduction. The Senior Design Project is intended to provide an “integrated educational experience” or capstone, for the engineering technology curriculum. As administered at the University of North Texas, the capstone “Senior Projects “ is a two credit hour, one semester course. The course concludes with a presentation of the students’ projects in which faculty, family members, business leaders, and other interested parties are invited to attend.

II. The Students. The students in this project ranged in age from their early twenties to “fifty something”. Three majored in Nuclear Engineering Technology and five majored in Electronics Engineering technology. Their occupations ranged from general technician at the Creation Evidence Museum to Shift Supervisor at the Comanche Peak Steam Electric Station. Another student was the plant switchyard supervisor. The rest were high level technicians and operators at the plant.

Three of this group graduated immediately upon completion of the course. Two of the three graduated with honors. The remaining students are expected to graduate by August 2005.

III. Project Support Resources. The utility company contributed $4,500 for the materials and equipment used in this project. The utility also contributed a surplus cabinet and permitted use of the company shops for drilling and fabrication efforts on the project. One of the company technicians also volunteered time to guide the selection and use of Allen Bradley controls in the project.

Simulation of step changes of reactivity were performed in the Simulink program of Matlab (from Mathworks) as a check on the expected outputs of the simulator. This work was done by students jointly enrolled in the Differential Equations course being offered in the same semester.

Students took vacation time or days off to visit the AGN 201 for photography, data collection and conversation with the Reactor Operators at Texas A&M. They were given the software used to drive the monitor that displayed reactor power or count rates. Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Smith, M., & Davis, J., & Bittle, C., & Plummer, M. (2005, June), Building A Reactor Simulator As A Senior Project Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14140

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