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titre M2 Functional description of a power station



Main teacher

GRARD Hubert



(1) Atomic and Nuclear Physics – Reactor theory

A basic understanding of nuclear physics and reactor theory is necessary before introducing the PWR systems and operations.

Atomic nature of matter, the chart of the nuclides, radioactivity and radioactive decay, neutron interactions and fission, and the interaction of radiation with matter.
Provides information on reactor theory and neutron characteristics. Includes topics such as neutron sources, neutron flux, neutron cross sections, reaction rates, neutron moderation, and prompt and delayed neutrons.
Explains the nuclear parameters associated with reactor theory. Topics include the neutron life cycle, reactivity and reactivity coefficients, neutron poisons, and control rods.

(2) PWR : main design principles

The objective of this lesson is to set  out the main design principles of the PWRs
- thermal neutrons reactors,
- water as a moderator. Its compacity and the volume power density of the PWRs
- water as a coolant : pressurization and the limits to heat removal
- the PWR core design : the fuel has a simple geometrical shape (plates or tubes, no cooling fins).
- closed and parallel channels were eliminated from pressurized water reactors
- Is a design without soluble boron possible ?
.- justification of the global design of the RCS

(3) et (4) Architecture and main components : description

Containment building,
RCS, including : vessel, core, fuel assembly, pellets, RCCA, pumps, pressurizer, steam generators

The nuclear auxiliary building

The fuel building
Refuelling : from the fuel building to the reactor building : spent fuel pool, and the storage racks (pits) ; fuel transfer device ; the refueling cavity ; fuel handling

Thermodynamic cycle : feedwater heating system and steam turbine
(5) Description of a few auxiliary systems

Chemical and volume control system CVCS, Reactor boron and water makeup system, Residual heat removal system
Reactor cavity and spent fuel pit cooling and treatment system

These systems are described with the following pattern :
- main function performed
- basic flow diagram
- operation

(6) The fuel assembly

- The nuclear fuel : market and stakes
- Requirements
- Description of the fuel assembly
- Service load : temperature, reactor coolant chemistry, neutron flux, hydraulic and mechanical load
- Cladding integrity  (2nd class transients)
- Feedback
- Reliability
- Conclusions

(7) Temperature and pressure buildup : from cold shutdown to hot shutdown

(8) Thermodynamic cycle : conception and performance

Description of thermodynamic cycle : PWR1300,  N4, EPR
The steam turbine, the condenser, the feedwater heating system
Different means allow to improve energy efficiency : moisture separator and superheater after HP cylinder, steam bleeding, reheating and superheating .
The industrial tools to calculate the thermodynamic cycle.
Economic stakes

(9) The cores of PWRs

Reactivity control : control rods, soluble boron, burnable poisons
Control rods materials.
Integral and differential worth
Regulating rods and safety rods.

Fuel management :
Batch refueling, the enrichment, burnable poisons (choice, quantity and zoning).
Fuel management : yesterday and tomorrow

Elaboration of a core loading pattern : goals and stakes

(10) Electric grid follow during power operations

The balance between production and consumption
The balacing mechanism : tuning the set point of the the daily load program.
Automatic controls of the frequency : primary and secondary control.

Base load and load follow.

The PCI-Class 2 related Operating Technical Specifications (for exemple concerning extented reduced power operations)


Semester :


Credits :



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