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A novel approach for optimal control of the H.B. Robinson nuclear power plant in North Carolina is presented. Optimal linear quadratic regulator (LQR) theory is used for the control. The appealing feature of the LQR design used here over the previous applications of the technique to nuclear reactors is that the proposed controller design algorithm for the reactor is capable of selecting appropriate weighting matrices in the cost functional. so that all or a selected number of the open-loop system poles are placed at desired locations while the performance index is minimized. Another advantage of the approach is that aggregation is used in designing the controller, so that second- or fourth-order matrix computations are performed almost throughout the design procedure.