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Short Learning Programme
on
Pebble Bed Reactor Design
Engineering professionals in the nuclear power generation industry use computer simulations to model and optimise the performance and safety features of High Temperature Gas Cooled Reactors (HTGR), such as Pebble Bed Reactors. They further study the applied nuclear physics and other theoretical physics and engineering concepts upon which these computer simulation codes are based. Participants therefore have to develop specialist knowledge of the coupled neutronics and core thermal-hydraulics phenomena and of the different fuel cycles possible in Pebble Bed Reactors. This course will fulfil this need by providing participants with an overview of pebble bed reactor designs and by investigating various aspects of neutronics design, reactor geometry, fuel cycle design, heat transfer modelling, reactivity control modelling, numerical modelling and finally apply the theory in hands-on computer simulations.

Purpose of the course:

Participants should gain specialist knowledge of, and skills in: using computer simulations to model and optimise the performance and safety features of High Temperature Gas Cooled Reactors (HTGR), such as Pebble Bed Reactors. Obtain knowledge of the applied nuclear physics and other theoretical physics and engineering concepts upon which these computer simulation codes are based. Develop Specialist knowledge of the coupled neutronics and core thermal-hydraulics phenomena and of the different fuel cycles possible in Pebble Bed Reactors. Obtain an overview of pebble bed reactor designs and various aspects of neutronics design, reactor geometry, fuel cycle design, heat transfer modelling, reactivity control modelling and numerical modelling. Most importantly participants will get to apply the theory in hands-on computer simulations. The course also forms part of the continuous professional development (CPD) for Nuclear Engineering.

Admission requirements:

Admission requirements: 
B.Eng or 4 years applicable experience in chemical- / nuclear- / mechanical engineering industry.
Learning assumed to be in place: 
NQF level 8 Qualification BSc Hons / BEng

Course outcomes and assessment criteria :

Course outcomes and the associated assessment criteria: 

Study Unit

Outcomes

Assessment Criteria

  After completion of this course, participants will: Participant will be assessed on the following criteria:
  • Specialist knowledge on the difference between typical reactors and Pebble Bed reactors, with special reference to:
    • The fuel design;
    • Reactor design, and
    • The reactor operation.
  • Specialist knowledge of the various physical characteristics encountered inside the reactor and how it is simulated in the VSOP-A suite of codes. These properties include aspects of:
    • Neutron moderation;
    • Double heterogeneity;
    • Spectrum calculations;
    • Flux distribution;
    • Power generation;
    • Burn-up characteristics;
    • Pebble movement in the reactor under gravity;
    • Temperature feedback, and
    • Decay heat production.
  • Most importantly, participants should also be able to perform simulations of a selection of these properties of a Pebble Bed Reactor, using the VSOP codes, and to and interpret the results.
 
  • Demonstrate Specialist knowledge of the difference between typical reactors and Pebble Bed reactors, with special reference to fuel design, reactor design, and reactor operation.
  • Demonstrate Specialist knowledge of the various physical characteristics encountered inside the reactor and how it is simulated in the VSOP-A suite of codes.
  • Perform simulations of a selection of these properties of a Pebble Bed Reactor, using the VSOP codes, and to and interpret the results.

 

Assessment: 
• During the lectures, homework assignments and class test will be used as formative assessments in order to prepare the student for the examination, which will serve as the summative assessment. • The examination will consist of an open book, project-based, take-home examination. Participants will get sufficient time, i.e. several weeks, to complete this examination. o Participants will have to perform a core-physics analysis of a Pebble Bed Reactor, using the VSOP suite of codes to perform neutronics and thermo-hydraulic analyses. o The only deliverable of this examination is a project report of roughly 30 pages.
Method of assessment: 
A sub-minimum of 40% must be achieved in the examination in order to pass the short learning programme. There will be no re examination

Additional information

Mode of delivery: 
Contact
Target group: 
Professionals in the nuclear power generation industry.
Contact us
Name: 
Sue-Mari van Rooyen
Telephone number: 
018 299 4369