A localization method of loose part for VVER NPPs
As operational experience shows, it can hardly be excluded that some detached or loosened parts and even foreign objects may appear in the main circulation loop of VVER reactor plants. Naturally, the sooner such incidents are detected and evaluated, the more time will be available to eliminate or at least minimize damage to the reactor plant main equipment. The paper describes a method for localizing the impact of a detached, loosened, or foreign metallic object located in the coolant circulation circuit of a VVER reactor plant. To diagnose malfunctions of the reactor plant main equipment, it is necessary to accurately determine the place where the acoustic anomaly occurred. Therefore, if some detached, loosened or foreign objects make themselves felt, it is important to track the path of their movement along the main circulation circuit as well as their location using physical barriers.
The method is based on the representation of the surface, along which an acoustic wave propagates, as a 3D model of the RP main circulation circuit. The model has the form of a graph in which the vertices characterize the control points on the RP surface and the edges are the distances between them. The method uses information about the acoustic wave velocity and the difference in the arrival times of the leading edge at various sensors. It is shown that, when the effect is recorded by more than three sensors, along with an estimate of the impact coordinate, it becomes possible to estimate the average acoustic wave velocity. To determine the arrival time of the leading edge, the signal dispersion change detection method is used. Provided that the average size between the control points on the RP surface was 300 mm, the average localization error was about 600 mm.
The developed algorithm can be easily adapted to any VVER reactor plant. The obtained deviation values are acceptable for practical use.
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