XXXI, No. 3, Pp. 197-305
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Authors: Vivek A. Kale, Rakesh Kumar, K. Obaidurrahman, and Avinash J. Gaikwad
The stability analysis of a nuclear reactor is an important aspect in the design and operation of the reactor. A stable neutronic response to perturbations is essential from the safety point of view. In this paper, a general methodology has been developed for the linear stability analysis of nuclear reactors using the lumped reactor model. The reactor kinetics has been modelled using the point kinetics equations and the reactivity feedbacks from fuel, coolant and xenon have been modelled through the appropriate time dependent equations. These governing equations are linearized considering small perturbations in the reactor state around a steady operating point. The characteristic equation of the system is used to establish the stability zone of the reactor considering the reactivity coefficients as parameters. This methodology has been used to identify the stability region of a typical pressurized heavy water reactor. It is shown that the positive reactivity feedback from xenon narrows down the stability region. Further, it is observed that the neutron kinetics parameters (such as the number of delayed neutron precursor groups considered, the neutron generation time, the delayed neutron fractions, etc.) do not have a significant influence on the location of the stability boundary. The stability boundary is largely influenced by the parameters governing the evolution of the fuel and coolant temperature and xenon concentration.
linear stability, PHWR, reactivity coefficient, xenon feedback, stability region
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