A Deep Learning Approach to Within-Bank Fault Detection and Diagnostics of Fine Motion Control Rod Drives

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Published Feb 20, 2024
Ark Oluwatobi Ifeanyi Jamie B. Coble Abhinav Saxena

Abstract

Control rod motion is one of the primary means of regulating the rate of fission in a nuclear reactor core to ensure safe and stable operation. Reactor power distribution and thermal power output can be fine-tuned by adjusting the control rod position. For high-precision control of rod movements, Fine Motion Control Rod Drives (FMCRDs) are often used. The operation of FMCRDs provides a unique opportunity to implement condition monitoring related to the intermittency of motion and the use of control rod banks. This research sets out to detect three types of faults in an electrically driven FMCRD. In addition to detecting faults, this work will attempt to determine both the type of fault and the source of each fault, completing the fault detection and diagnostics (FDD) pipeline on a scarcely researched system. The three types of faults to be investigated are short-circuit faults, ball screw wear faults, and ball screw jam faults. This is a potential advancement to the within-bank FDD of this specific drive system intended for deployment in an advanced nuclear reactor plant. Using encoder-decoder structured convolutional neural networks and autoencoders, the three tested faults were confidently detected and isolated as well as reasonably diagnosed by monitoring the FMCRD servomotor torque.

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Keywords

Anomaly Detection, Autoencoders, Control Rod Drive Mechanism, Servomotors, Small Modular Reactors, Motor Faults

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Technical Papers