Dynamic modelling, simulation, and control design of a pressurized water-type nuclear power plant

Vineet Vajpayee, Victor Becerra, Nils Bausch, Jiamei M. Deng, S. R. Shimjith, A. John Arul

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This article presents an integrated non-linear dynamic model of a Pressurized Water-type Nuclear Reactor (PWR) and associated plant components for control design and evaluation purposes. The model uses the first-principles approach to represent various components of the plant. The model considers the dynamics of the reactor core, thermal hydraulics, piping and plenum, pressurizer, steam generator, condenser, and turbine-governor system, in addition to various actuators and sensors. The response of the proposed model is tested using perturbations in different input variables. Various control loops implementing low-level PI control strategies are designed and implemented in the model to simulate the closed-loop behaviour of the plant. These include control loops for reactor power, steam generator pressure, pressurizer pressure and level, and turbine speed. Linear quadratic Gaussian-based optimal control strategies are further developed and implemented. Unique contributions of the work include the set of plant sections that are considered, the implementation of carefully tuned control strategies, the completeness of the model equations, and the availability of parameter values so that the model is readily implementable and has the potential to become a benchmark for control design studies in PWR nuclear power plants.
Original languageEnglish
Article number110901
Number of pages22
JournalNuclear Engineering and Design
Early online date21 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2020


  • RCUK
  • EP/R021961/1
  • EP/R022062/1
  • mathematical model
  • simulation
  • control system
  • optimal control
  • pressurized water reactor
  • nuclear power plant


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