A Unified Methodology for Single- and Multiobjective In-Core Fuel Management Optimisation Based on Augmented Chebyshev Scalarisation and a Harmony Search Algorithm


The in-core fuel management optimisation (ICFMO) problem is the problem of finding an optimal fuel reload configuration for a nuclear reactor core. ICFMO may involve the pursuit of a single or multiple objectives, while satisfying several constraints. Very little multiobjective ICFMO research involving the fundamental notion of Pareto optimality has, however, been performed. In this paper, a unified methodology is proposed for the modelling and solution of single- and multiobjective ICFMO problems, be they constrained or unconstrained. With this methodology, ICFMO problems incorporating a variety of objectives and/or constraints may be modelled and solved rapidly, thus providing a cycle-to-cycle optimisation decision support capability for nuclear reactors. An augmented Chebyshev scalarising objective function is incorporated in the methodology for modelling any number of objectives, while an additive penalty function handles potential constraints. Furthermore, an adapted harmony search algorithm is used to solve a given ICFMO problem. The algorithm is able to yield a single solution or a nondominated set of solutions as result (depending on the number of objectives in a problem). The applicability of the methodology is demonstrated by solving (approximately) a variety of ICFMO test problems for the SAFARI-I nuclear research reactor. The results indicate that the methodology may be used as an effective decision support tool for reactor operators tasked with designing reload configurations from cycle to cycle.