SEOUL, Oct. 11 (Korea Bizwire) – South Korean researchers have discovered what they’re saying is the optimal method of moving control rods, using industrial mathematics.
According to the National Institute for Mathematical Science (NIMS), fuel and control rods used in the previous cycle at nuclear power plants are taken to the Spent Fuel Pit (SPF) during the preventive maintenance period.
Following the maintenance checks, control rods are repositioned to fit the arrangement of the reactor for the upcoming cycle. Here, shortening the route of repositioning the rods can expedite the entire process.
NIMS and the Kori Nuclear Power Plant owned by Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Company (KHNP) developed an optimal routing algorithm using the traveling salesman problem.
The traveling salesman problem provides the distance between multiple cities and asks the examinee to find a route that passes each city once, before returning to the starting point.
The algorithm was applied to Kori reactor unit 2, which resulted in a 40 percent shorter route for control rods.
The feat was presented at the International Conference Nuclear Energy for New Europe held in Portoroz, Slovenia last month. The KHNP said it plans to apply this algorithm to other power plants in South Korea.
Heo Jun, the director of the industrial mathematics center at NIMS, said, “This is the first paper to be presented jointly between our center and an outside institution,” adding that “the center will continue to deliver results in resolving other industrial issues.”
NIMS currently runs the industrial mathematics center at a startup campus in Gyeonggi Province to discover industrial issues and find mathematical solutions.
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)