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Predicting the ageing of advanced gas-cooled reactor (AGR) graphite bricks

West, Graeme and Wallace, Christopher and Jahn, Gordon and Mcarthur, Stephen and Towle, Dave (2010) Predicting the ageing of advanced gas-cooled reactor (AGR) graphite bricks. In: Seventh American Nuclear Society International Topical Meeting on Nuclear Plant Instrumentation, Control and Human-Machine Interface Technologies NPIC&HMIT 2010, 2010-11-07 - 2010-11-11.

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Abstract

This paper shows that measurements taken during routine station refueling operations can be used to infer the level of shrinkage within AGR reactor core bricks. This is the first time that refueling data has been used in this manner and represents a novel use of existing data to provide new information relating to graphite core health. These refueling measurements are shown to corroborate with inspection data and align with expected theoretical understanding of AGR moderator graphite shrinkage. This data has then been used to build a predictive model of brick shrinkage. Understanding brick shrinkage is important as it is fundamental to understanding how the graphite core bricks are ageing and thus gives an indication of remaining useful life of the graphite, and thus the station.