Nuclear Technology and Radiation Protection 2009 Volume 24, Issue 3, Pages: 167-176
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A comparative study of kinetics of nuclear reactors

Obaidurrahman Khalilurrahman, Singh Om Pal

The paper deals with the study of reactivity initiated transients to investigate major differences in the kinetics behavior of various reactor systems under different operating conditions. The article also states guidelines to determine the safety limits on reactivity insertion rates. Three systems, light water reactors (pressurized water reactors), heavy water reactors (pressurized heavy water reactors), and fast breeder reactors are considered for the sake of analysis. The upper safe limits for reactivity insertion rate in these reactor systems are determined. The analyses of transients are performed by a point kinetics computer code, PKOK. A simple but accurate method for accounting total reactivity feedback in kinetics calculations is suggested and used. Parameters governing the kinetics behavior of the core are studied under different core states. A few guidelines are discussed to project the possible kinetics trends in the next generation reactors.

Keywords: reactor kinetics, reactivity feedback, reactivity insertion rates, reactor safety, reactivity initiated transients