PWR Simulator




The purpose of the 600 MW(e) advanced PWR reactor NPP simulator is educational — to provide a training tool for university professors and engineers involved in teaching topics related to the advanced passive PWR reactor. Nuclear engineers, scientists and trainers familiar with the conventional PWR would find this simulator useful in broadening their understanding of the advanced PWR characteristics, transients, power plant dynamics, and passive safety features. As such, this simulator is currently used in the IAEA Workshop "NPP Simulators for Education".

The simulator has sufficient simulation fidelity to provide realistic PWR plant responses during normal operations and accident situations.  More importantly, Mode K Reactor Control Strategy is simulated in details, which allows double closed loop control of (1) reactor coolant temp (2) axial power difference, with the use of:

  • Heavy-worth control rods bank dedicated to axial shape control.
  • Light-worth control rods bank for controlling coolant temp at setpoint.
  • Auto regulation of both the reactivity and power distribution - permits load-follow operations (frequency control) to respond to grid conditions, with minimum use of Boron.

The PWR simulator also has a user-machine interface that mimics the actual control panel instrumentation. More importantly, it allows user’s interactions with the simulator during the operation of the simulated PWR plant.

The current configuration of the Simulator is able to respond to the operating conditions normally encountered in power plant operations, as well as to many malfunctions, as summarized in the following Table.


Simulation Scope

Display Pages

Operator Controls



* Neutron flux levels over a range of 0.001 to 110% full power, 6 delayed neutron groups

* Decay heat (3 groups)

* All reactivity control devices - “dark” rods; “gray” rods; boron control.

* Xenon/Iodine poison

* Reactor power control system

* Reactor shutdown system

PWR Reactor Power control

PWR Control Rods & SD rods

PWR Trip parameters


* Reactor power and rate of change (input to control computer)

* Manual control of reactivity devices - control rods and boron addition/removal

* Reactor trip

* Reactor setback

* Reactor stepback

* Reactor setback and stepback fail

* One bank of Dark control rods drop into the reactor core


* Main circuit coolant loop with four pumps, two steam generators, four equivalent “lumped” reactor coolant channels

* Pressure and inventory control which includes pressurizer, coolant letdown condenser, charge & letdown control, and pressure relief

* Operating range is from zero power hot to full power

PWR reactor coolant system

PWR coolant inventory & pressurizer

PWR inventory control

PWR pressure control

* Reactor coolant pumps

* Coolant makeup pumps

* Pressurizer pressure control: heaters; spray; pressure relief valve

* Pressurizer level control by regulating coolant feed & bleed flow

* Isolation valves for: coolant feed and bleed

* Pressurizer pressure relief valve fails open

* Charging (feed) valve fails open

* Letdown (bleed) valve fails open

* Pressurizer heaters #2 to # 6 turned "ON" by malfunction

* Reactor header break


* Boiler dynamics, including shrink and swell effects

* Steam supply to turbine and reheater

* Turbine by-pass to condenser

* Extraction steam to feed heating

* Steam generator pressure control

* Steam generator level control

* Boiler feed system

PWR Feedwater and Extraction Steam

* Feed pump on/off operation

* Boiler level controller mode: Auto or manual

* level control setpoint changes during Auto operation

* Level control valve opening during manual operation

* Extraction steam valves opening

* All level control isolation valves fail closed

* One level control valve fails open

* One level control valve fails closed

* Main feedwater pump trips

* All main steam safety relief valves open

* Steam header break

* Steam flow transmitter failure


* Simple turbine model

* Mechanical power and generator output are proportional to steam flow

* Speeder gear and governor valve allow synchronized and non-synchronized operation

*Turbine steam bypass

PWR Turbine-Generator

* Turbine trip

* Turbine run-back

* Turbine run-up and synchronization

* Condenser steam discharge valves

* Turbine spurious trip

*Condenser steam discharge valves failed closed

Turbine Runback


* Fully dynamic interaction between all simulated systems

* Overall unit power control with reactor leading mode; or turbine leading mode

* Unit annunciation & time trends

* Computer control of all major system functions

PWR Plant Overview

PWR Control Loops


 * Reactor power setpoint and rate entry in reactor-lead mode.

* Turbine load setpoint (MW) and loading rate entry in turbine-lead mode



* Emergency Core Cooling System (ECC)

* Simple Model for containment.

PWR Passive Core Cooling

  Reactor inlet header break

The interaction between the user and the simulator is via a combination of monitor displays, mouse and keyboard. Parameter monitoring and plant operator controls, implemented via the plant display system at the generating station ,are represented in a virtually identical manner on the simulator. Control panel instruments and control devices, such as push-buttons and hand-switches, are shown as stylized pictures, and are operated via special pop-up menus and dialog boxes in response to user inputs. 

Below are samples of the PWR Simulator screens:

PWR Overview Screen

PWR Control Rods and Shutdown Rods Screen

Advanced PWR Power Control Screen

PWR Coolant Inventory & Pressurizer Screen

PWR Passive System Screen

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