June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
Nuclear and Radiological
12.398.1 - 12.398.6
Conducting Fuel Temperature Coefficient of Reactivity Laboratory via Remote Connection
The University of Texas at Austin offers nuclear engineering courses as part of the undergraduate curriculum in mechanical engineering. These courses have up to 35 students and are taught on the main campus in downtown Austin, TX. To complement these courses a remote laboratory on fuel temperature coefficients of reactivity has been developed that utilizes The University of Texas at Austin 1.1 MW TRIGA Mark II nuclear research reactor located on the Pickle Research Campus (about 12 miles north of the main campus where most courses are taught). A live display of the reactor instrumentation outputs has been created and may be accessed via remote desktop with Windows XP. As a result, the reactor instrumentation outputs may be displayed real-time in a classroom on the main campus via the classroom computer.
The first remote experiment was conducted on December 7, 2006 for the ME 337C “Introduction to Nuclear Power Systems” course. It received excellent reviews from the students in attendance. The entire experiment was digitally recorded and was also viewed by distance learning students in the course. Data and procedures presented below are from this initial experiment.
The laboratory starts with the reactor at 1 kW. This is a low power where fuel temperature is still in equilibrium with the reactor pool temperature (~ 23 °C). At this point, the reactor power, fuel temperature, and control rod positions are recorded. The reactor power and fuel temperature data may be obtained from the reactor instrumentation output display shown live in the classroom. The control rod positions are reported to the class via speaker phone by the reactor operator.
After data is taken at the first power level, the reactor is increased in power to the next level. Data for this laboratory is taken at reactor power levels of 1, 50, 100, 250, 500, 750, and 950 kW. The reactor power, fuel temperature, and control rod positions are recorded at each power level. These power levels seem to adequately cover the range of the UT TRIGA reactor and the number of points is reasonable for the one hour time allotted for the laboratory.
Each power change takes seven to ten minutes. During this time, students look up the reactivity of each control rod position, calculate total core reactivity, and enter the data into a spreadsheet. The change in reactivity from the 1 kW power level is then calculated. A plot is made showing reactor power versus the change in core reactivity.
Figure 1 shows the display of the reactor conditions displayed in class. These data are shown live. For this particular figure, only reactor power and fuel temperature are shown. Two charts are displayed of the data. These charts are set to show the data on
Biegalski, S., & O'Kelly, S., & Welch, L. (2007, June), Conducting Fuel Temperature Coefficient Of Reactivity Laboratory Via Remote Connection Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/1886
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