Purpose of experiment

The exercise allows students to operate the reactor on their own under the supervision of a licensed reactor operator. First the students have to achieve criticality, then they have to change the reactor power level and stabilize the reactor at low power, below the point of adding heat. Secondly, they increase the reactor power above POAH and observe the reactor response to control rod movement at high power levels, where temperature feedback effects are significant. The exercise ends by safe and controlled shut down of the reactor.

Outcome / What you will learn
Students will become familiar with reactor operation, focusing on:

  1. safe reactor operation
  2. pre-startup procedures
  3. startup to low power level, change of power level
  4. reactor shutdown

After a discussion on the general features and systems of the reactor, reactor operation procedures and operating limits, students operate the reactor on their own. During operation, students observe the signals from the reactor instrumentation, i.e. the source range meter, linear channel, period meter and indicators of control rod positions. Each student performs a sequence in which the reactor is started up and stabilized at a low power level, the power level is then changed to a higher power level, and finally the reactor is shut down. No measurements are taken.

Exercise No. 11: Reactor operation