Neural-based time series forecasting of loss of coolant accidents in nuclear power plants

Majdi I. Radaideh, Connor Pigg, Tomasz Kozlowski, Yujia Deng, Peiyong Qu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the last few years, deep learning in neural networks demonstrated impressive successes in the areas of computer vision, speech and image recognition, text generation, and many others. However, sensitive engineering areas such as nuclear engineering benefited less from these efficient techniques. In this work, deep learning expert systems are utilized to model and predict time series progression of a design-basis nuclear accident, featuring a loss of coolant accident. Two major findings are accomplished in this work. First, the ability to train expert systems with high accuracy, which could help nuclear power plant operators to figure out plant responses during the accident. Second, building fast, efficient, and accurate deep models to simulate nuclear phenomena, which could be valuable to nuclear computational science. In this work, large amount of time series data is obtained from simulation tools by simulating different conditions of the base-case/nominal accident scenario. Four critical outputs/responses are monitored during the accident (e.g. temperature, pressure, break flow rate, water level). Two approaches are adopted in this work. The first approach is to use feedforward deep neural networks (DNN) to fit all time steps and outputs in a single model. The second approach is to use long short-term memory (LSTM) to fit all time steps together for each reactor response separately. Both DNN and LSTM demonstrate very good performance in predicting the test and base-case scenarios, with accuracy as low as 92% and as high as 99%, where these test scenarios are unknown to the expert systems and are not included in the model training. In addition, both approaches demonstrate a significant reduction in computational costs, as the deep expert system is able to accurately predict the accident 100,000 times faster than the original simulation tool. Given sufficient data, the methodology adopted in this study demonstrates that DNN/LSTM expert systems can be used as a decision support system to model advanced time series phenomena within nuclear power plants with high accuracy and negligible computational costs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number113699
JournalExpert Systems With Applications
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020


  • Expert systems
  • LOCA
  • Nuclear accidents
  • Time series

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Artificial Intelligence


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