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Publication - Dr Ollie Oddbjornsson

    The development of a physical model of an Advanced Gas Cooled Reactor core

    Outline of the feasibility study


    Dihoru, L, Oddbjornsson, O, Kloukinas, P, Dietz, M, Horseman, T, Voyagaki, E, Crewe, AJ, Taylor, CA & Steer, AG, 2017, ‘The development of a physical model of an Advanced Gas Cooled Reactor core: Outline of the feasibility study’. Nuclear Engineering and Design, vol 323., pp. 269-279


    The ageing issues of the Advanced Gas Cooled Reactor (AGR) cores need addressing to maintain their safe and reliable operation, hence the requirement for the computer models of the cores used for the seismic resilience assessments to be conservative and to represent larger percentages of damaged graphite components. The current models have undergone limited experimental validation for high levels of degradation, so there is a need to validate those numerical models and also to enhance the understanding of core dynamics by physical modelling and testing. This paper outlines the feasibility study of a quarter scale model rig of an AGR core developed by the University of Bristol. The damage scenarios to be considered in demonstrating the core seismic tolerability were defined. The principles of scale modelling were put under scrutiny in parallel with several practical aspects of material selection and component design and manufacturing. Several variants of physical models of different size and shape were proposed and their merits with respect to their feasibility and outcomes were discussed. Aspects of instrumentation design are presented together with relevant measurement results. The rig is a viable experimental tool whose outputs can be employed directly in computer model validation.

    Full details in the University publications repository