Abstract

The reactivity control system is a vital safety system for a nuclear reactor. One of the most challenging aspects in the design of these systems is the operation during critical situations, in particular during earthquakes to safely shut-down the reactor. To study these situations, the toolbox python Implementation for Reliability Assessment Tools (PIRAT) is used to model two types of excitation: single frequency and realistic. The main focus of this work is the comparison of the implementation of the contact models used to describe the interaction between the subsystems. For the dynamic tool in PIRAT (dynamic Euler–Bernoulli for seismic event (DEBSE)), this is done with a two-stage linear spring or Lankarani and Nikravesh-based models. For the sine excitation, the results show four distinct response types with the maximum displacement varying between the models. Low-frequency excitation showed little variance while higher frequency excitation showed large variations. The realistic excitation, however, did not show these variations and showed nearly identical results for the contact models tested. This gives confidence in the simulations since the user selected contact model did not greatly affect the simulation results for a realistic excitation.

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