The graphite components of an Advanced Gas Cooled Reactor (AGR) are subject to ageing processes that lead to changes of geometry and mechanical properties. Such changes need addressing in the safety case strategy of the operator, hence the necessity for both the numerical and the physical reactor models to be conservative and to represent high levels of graphite component degradation. This paper presents a quarter scale physical model of a multi-layer array representative of those in AGR cores. The rig was developed by the University of Bristol to support the seismic capabilities of the existing computer core models. The physical model can embed high percentages of doubly cracked bricks in various pattern distributions. Intact and cracked array configurations were subjected to seismic testing on an earthquake simulator. Relevant results of component displacement in the array are presented together with separation data between doubly cracked brick halves that provide evidence of key-keyway disengagement. The outlined experimental output demonstrates that the model rig is capable of providing an enhanced understanding of the mechanical interactions that take place inside the array with relevance for both the nuclear plant operator and the computer modellers.
|Title of host publication||Proceedings of the 5th EdF Energy Generation Ltd Nuclear Graphite Conference, Southampton, UK|
|Publication status||Published - 10 May 2016|
- Reactor core
- physical modelling
- seismic resilience