A New Formulation to the Point Kinetics Equations Considering the Time Variation of the Neutron Currents


The system of point kinetics equations describes the time behaviour of a nuclear reactor, assuming that, during the transient, the spatial form of the flux of neutrons varies very little. This system has been largely used in the analysis of transients, where the numerical solutions of the equations are limited by the stiffness problem that results from the different time scales of the instantaneous and delayed neutrons. Its derivation can be done directly from the neutron transport equation, from the neutron diffusion equation or through a heuristics procedure. All of them lead to the same functional form of the system of differential equations for point kinetics, but with different coefficients. However, the solution of the neutron transport equation is of little practical use as it requires the change of the existent core design systems, as used to calculate the design of the cores of nuclear reactors for different operating cycles. Several approximations can be made for the said derivation. One of them consists of disregarding the time derivative for neutron density in comparison with the remaining terms of the equation resulting from the P1 approximation of the transport equation. In this paper, we consider that the time derivative for neutron current density is not negligible in the P1 equation. Thus being, we obtained a new system of equations of point kinetics that we named as modified. The innovation of the method presented in the manuscript consists in adopting arising from the P1 equations, without neglecting the derivative of the current neutrons, to derive the modified point kinetics equations instead of adopting the Fick’s law which results in the classic point kinetics equations. The results of the comparison between the point kinetics equations, modified and classical, indicate that the time derivative for the neutron current density should not be disregarded in several of transient analysis situations.

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Nunes, A. , Martinez, A. , Silva, F. and Palma, D. (2015) A New Formulation to the Point Kinetics Equations Considering the Time Variation of the Neutron Currents. World Journal of Nuclear Science and Technology, 5, 57-71. doi: 10.4236/wjnst.2015.51006.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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