Specifics of initial fuel charge of the innovative power unit of AES-2006 design
Before initiating the «first criticality» stage of Novovoronezh NPP-II Unit No. 1 commissioning, we analyzed the initial fuel charge experience for VVER-type reactors. The analysis exposed number of negative factors, which may develop during the aforementioned stage. With the said issues and new unit start-up experience in mind, the traditional fuel charge method was refined for ensuring environmental durability (to external and internal impact of natural and man-made character) of partially fueled reactor core during an initial fuel charge. Simultaneous loading of fuel and dummy assemblies was used for the first time for VVER. A set of measures was developed to provide dummy assemblies’ compatibility with fuel assemblies. Special measures were taken to ensure safe initial fuel charge with fuel and dummy assemblies simultaneously. Monitoring of shape change, flushing and certification of dummy fuel assemblies to ensure safe first fuel loading with simultaneous loading of fuel and dummy assemblies in the reactor were applied.
Additional equipment was installed for controlling reactor core coolant level, as well as boric acid concentration during an initial fuel charge at VVER-1200 reactor, because low level and lack of coolant circulation in the reactor does not allow using routine monitoring systems. Effect of calculation parameters and high detectors sensitivity on neutron flux monitoring during fuel charge was defined.
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