The MinuteMan Advanced Core Monitor is a new concept in Reactor Core
Monitors: a core monitoring system that is independent of both a fuel
vendor and a core simulator.
Before MinuteMan, nuclear fuel vendors
provided core monitoring systems because they were necessary to
support their major product: Nuclear Fuel. Suppliers of Core
Simulators developed core monitors as a vehicle to sell their core
simulators. The ability of any of these core monitors to support
the needs of the plants, other vendor's fuels, or even advances in their
own fuel were secondary in nature.
MinuteMan is the first core monitor designed to meet
the needs of the core monitor user, not the needs of suppliers.
Asked Questions about the MinuteMan Core Monitoring System:
|MinuteMan is a
simulator independent Advanced Core Monitoring system.
A modern core monitoring system consists of four major parts:
|Pre/Post Simulator Processing
Simulator (the “nuclear engine”)
consists of the first three of these parts; the fourth part, the core
simulator, is selected by the customer from any existing core simulator.
Can MinuteMan support my core
designed to be core simulator independent. This means that it can be
used with any core simulator code available. Configuration
files are used to relate variables and functions within MinuteMan to
the corresponding variables and functions in the core simulator.
Therefore, when a new simulator is introduced, all that is necessary is to
load the configuration file corresponding to the new core
simulator. This method means that the plant operating and
engineering staff will be able to use the same interface and run
calculations in the same way, after a new core simulator is installed as
they did with the old core simulator.
|Can MinuteMan monitor the fuel used
at my plant?
can use any core simulator, it can monitor any fuel vendor's fuel.
All that is required is that the core simulator selected support the fuel
|How does MinuteMan interface to our
process computer? Do we need a new process computer? Do we need to buy any
|A software interface translates plant process computer
(PPC) parameters into a syntax understood by MinuteMan. This
interface also verifies
these parameters to ensure they are "reasonable". Parameters
that fail this "reasonableness" check are flagged as
failed. If certain critical parameters that are necessary for the core
simulator to perform simulations fail, no core monitoring cases will run.
A change in the PPC doesn't affect the rest
of the system.
The training simulator for instance can be treated just as a different PPC, simplifying MinuteMan installation in that
The physical data link between the PPC and MinuteMan can be any digital data source
such as a serial
line, a TCP/IP connection, a proprietary network protocol, or a file generated
in a separate system.
|Does MinuteMan support TIP Sets and
LPRM Calibrations? Can I perform LPRM Calibrations with a TIP
machine out of service? Does MinuteMan support single TIP Set LPRM
|Yes, MinuteMan uses
a TIP Calibration Module to perform TIP Sets and provide the data
necessary to perform LPRM Calibrations. The TIP Calibration module
is designed to support simultaneous data collection for all operable TIP
machines. Also, the standard LPRM Calibration method is to perform a
pre-calibration TIP Set, adjust LPRMs as required, then re-process the
pre-calibration TIP Set. This method not only reduces the number of
required TIP Sets to one, but also ensures that a sufficient number of TIP
machines are operable prior to performing any physical LPRM
adjustments. Finally, MinuteMan supports any TIP Machine Out of
Service (OOS) analysis allowed by plant licensing. The MinuteMan TIP
Calibration Module is standard with all MinuteMan distributions or
available as a
stand alone product.
|With my current core monitoring
system, my fuel vendor provides the databank for each cycle. If I
use MinuteMan, where will I get my databanks?
|If you continue to
use the core simulator provided by your fuel vendor, then your fuel vendor
can keep on providing your databank. However, if you elect to use a
different core simulator, then you can develop the databank yourself, the
databank can be prepared by your fuels organization, or you can contract a
third party vendor for databank services. K-Effective, LLC
provides databank services as a separately purchased option.
safety related software?
|MinuteMan is not
safety related nor is any core monitoring system. Because core
monitoring systems are not required for the safe shutdown of
a nuclear power plant, it does not meet the definition of safety related.
What kind of maneuvers and
predictions can be modeled using MinuteMan?
MinuteMan has explicitly implemented support
for all calculations commonly used by Reactor Engineering
organizations. These include:
|Power, Flow, and Keff searches
|Steady State Burnup calculations
|Estimated Range of Criticality (ERC) or Estimated Critical
|Loss of Feedwater Heating calculations
|Shutdown Margin Calculations
|Cold Control Rod Worth calculations
Furthermore, MinuteMan provides an interface whereby any type of
calculation supported by the core simulator being used, can be performed.
|Does MinuteMan support the fuel
preconditioning rules used at my plant?
|The MinuteMan fuel
preconditioning rules are contained in the Preconditioning Module.
Therefore, any set of fuel preconditioning rules can be implemented,
including special failed fuel preconditioning rules. The Fuel
Preconditioning Module is standard with all MinuteMan distributions and is
available as a stand alone product.
|Can I access MinuteMan remotely?
|MinuteMan has been
designed from the beginning to support remote access. Every function
and interface in the MinuteMan Advanced Core Monitoring System is remotely
accessible through a standard web browser. This not only enables
remote access but makes use of shared resources both practical and
|How hard is it to learn its
use? Is there a training class?
|The familiar web
interface for MinuteMan means that anyone that knows how to use a web
browser can perform most functions within MinuteMan. More advanced
functions, such as core prediction calculations require knowledge of the
core simulator being used and how such calculations are
performed. Included in the base price for the MinuteMan system is a
two (2) week training class. The first week covers all of the core
monitoring functions, use of the precondition module, use of the TIP
calibration program and LPRM calibrations, and system
administration. The second week covers the theory and use of the
core predictor tool (Prophet), the data analysis tool (CoreMap) and
other tools included in the Engineering Tool Box.
|Can I get the same kind of
information from MinuteMan as I do from my current core monitor?
designed to display all of the information available from both the core
simulator and the plant process computer being used.
MinuteMan support the Stability Long Term Solution in use at my plant?
designed to be modular in nature. Therefore all that is required to
support a particular stability option is to load the corresponding module
into the MinuteMan system.
|Is it possible to export data to my
existing fuel management database?
|MinuteMan has data
import functions to enable existing database information and simulation
files to be accessed. Furthermore, MinuteMan can export any input,
output, or fuel distribution file used by the system.
is it to upgrade MinuteMan?
is designed to be modular in nature, it is a simple matter to design and
implement upgrades and new features by simply adding new modules. In
addition, Prophet, the MinuteMan predictor, is designed to support multiple
core simulators simultaneously. This feature allows new core
simulators to be operated in parallel prior to replacement.
MinuteMan has been designed to make upgrades easy and transparent to
the user so that the MinuteMan Core Monitoring System will be able to take
advantages of emerging technologies and changing needs of the nuclear
|How long does it takes to install?
|This depends on how easy is it to get data from the plant process computer
(PPC) and if the core simulator is already supported or not. Roughly we can say
between two weeks and a month.
In any case, given the complexity of the task at hand, K Effective
strongly recommends that MinuteMan be operated in parallel with the existing core monitoring
system for at least 6 months. This not only ensures that the new
system performs as expected but also provides an opportunity for the staff
to become accustomed to using MinuteMan.
MinuteMan need to be licensed with my countries Nuclear Regulatory
As MinuteMan is not safety related software, licensing is not required.
Core Simulators are licensed for performance of design functions but not
for core monitoring functions. However, how the plant is modeled with the core simulator
in order to calculate operating margins is normally subject at least
to a review by the licensing authority.
|How much does it cost (roughly)?
|Please contact our
sales staff at the phone number and/or e-mail address below for a quote.