What is Startup Rate – SUR – Definition

The reactor startup rate is defined as the number of factors of ten that power changes in one minute. Therefore the units of SUR are decades per minute (dpm). Reactor Physics

Startup Rate – SUR

Reactivity is not directly measurable and therefore most power reactors procedures do not refer to it and most technical specifications do not limit it. Instead, they specify a limiting rate of neutron power rise (measured by excore detectors), commonly called a startup rate (especially in case of PWRs).

The reactor startup rate is defined as the number of factors of ten that power changes in one minute. Therefore the units of SUR are powers of ten per minute, or decades per minute (dpm). The relationship between reactor power and startup rate is given by following equation:

n(t) = n(0).10SUR.t

SUR = reactor startup rate [dpm – decades per minute]
t = time during reactor transient [minute]

The higher the value of SUR, the more rapid the change in reactor power. The startup rate may be positive or negative. If SUR is positive, reactor power is increasing. If SUR is negative, reactor power is decreasing. The relationship between reactor period and startup rate is given by following equations:
SUR - Reactor Period


Suppose keff = 1.0005 in a reactor with a generation time ld = 0.01s. For this state calculate the reactor period – τe, doubling time – DT and the startup rate (SUR).

ρ = 1.0005 – 1 / 1.0005 = 50 pcm

τe = ld / k-1 = 0.1 / 0.0005 = 200 s

DT = τe . ln2 = 139 s

SUR = 26.06 / 200 = 0.13 dpm

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See also:


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