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37, 186- 191(1969)

**Discrete Kinetics for Periodically Pulsed Fast Reactors
**

G. Blaesser and J. A. Larrimore

Reactor Physics Department, EURATOM C.C.R., Ispra, Italy

Received November 27, 1968 Revised March 17, 1969

A discrete neutron kinetics for periodically pulsed fast reactors is formulated in which the time behavior of the delayed neutron precursor concentrations is considered explicitly only just before and just after each power pulse. The power pulse is represented by a delta function and a general integration of the precursor equations between pulses is used. The difference equations obtained are well suited for use in digital simulation of pulsed reactors. An "inhour equation" for pulsed r e a c t o r s is derived from the difference equations and is shown to reduce to the relation obtained f r o m the period-averaged kinetics equations, if the deviation from pulsed criticality is small.

I. INTRODUCTION

In periodically pulsed fast reactors (such as IBR, SORA, etc.) the repetition frequency is of the order of 100 cps while the pulse width is <100 [jsec. Therefore, one can consider the pulse itself as a discrete event when one considers processes of the time scale determined by the pulse repetition frequency. This fact suggests a new approach to the simulation of the kinetic behavior of such systems by solving the kinetic equations outside of the "discrete points" given by the pulses, taking into account the pulse characteristics as boundary values of the solution for the rest of the period. This approach, which we, therefore, call the "discrete model," avoids the drawbacks of the earlier methods of treating pulsed systems either on the basis of averaged kinetic equations 1-3 or by direct integration of the exact kinetic equations over the whole period including the pulse. 4 The "averaging methods" give poor results if one considers

I. I. BONDARENKO and Y. Y. STAVISSKH, Atomnaya Energiya, 1, 417 (1959). 2 G. BLASSER, R. MISENTA, and V. RAIEVSKI, "The Kinetic Theory of a Fast Reactor Periodically Pulsed by Reactivity Variations," EUR-493 e, EURATOM, Ispra, Italy (1964). 3 J . A. LARRIMORE, Nucl. Sci. Eng., 29, 87 (1967). 4 H. WUNDT and G. P. CALIGIURI, "Dynamics and Control of the Fast Pulsed Reactor SORA," EURATOM report EUR-2553 (1965).

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systems with low repetition frequencies (say of the order of seconds 5 ) while the direct integration methods are rather awkward for simulation purposes because of the two different time scales (the period and the time scale inside the pulse). Our new approach uses a typical solution of the kinetic equations inside the pulse for the determination of the boundary values, but it is concerned only with one time scale; it is, therefore, directly applicable to low repetition frequencies and also to a detailed study of "satellite lines" which occur in systems with two independent pulsing devices. 5 Also, this method allows us to treat "fast transients," i.e., transients in which the intensities of successive pulses differ by an appreciable percentage. In the present paper we assume a linear dependence of the production of delayed neutron emitters on the total neutron source strength present at the beginning of the pulse. However, the discrete approach can be extended to a more general relation between these two variables. Thus, nonlinear effects within the pulse could be included. In the current terminology, 6 "pulsed reactors"

V. D. ANANIEV et al, "The Operational Experience and Development of Repetitively Pulsed Reactors at Dubna," ANS Topical Meeting on Fast Burst Reactors, Albuquerque (Jan. 1969). 6 V. RAIEVSKI, "Comparison of Repetitively Pulsed Devices," Proc. Seminar on Intense Neutron Sources. USAEC report CONF-660925, p. 493 (1966).

5

Fp(p) i s proportional to the total neutron s o u r c e strength S^t during the pulse. a s an approximation which i s quite satisfactory for small pulsed r e a c t o r s the point neutron kinetics formulation without feedback may be used for the determination of M. The parameter M has been introduced in the mean power kinetics formulations. Then the value M(p) i s obtained immediately using the value of em at the p'th p u l s e . DISCRETE KINETICS DIFFERENCE EQUATION FORMULATION We denote (see Fig. Schematic Variation of Precursor Concentrations. 1): Ci(p) = i'th precursor concentration at the beginning of the power pulse in the p'th period Ci+(p) = i'th precursor concentration at the end of the power pulse in the £'th period. 3 Tiav2)1/2 3/2 (6) ± T Time 2T 3T Fig. For instance. Neglecting the s m a l l e f f e c t of the i n c r e a s e in Q during the pulse. The relation M(em ) can be obtained for the whole range of em. We divide the period into two p a r t s : pulse. (5) yields an analytic relation for when em i s well above prompt critical M = (av em 2 exp 4 £. a the constant and v the velocity of the moving An approximate integration of Eq. (4) and (5) using a standard reactor kinetics code. introducing the appropriate reactivity pulse. the inclusion of a time-dependent source in our equations allows an extension of the present method to " a c c e l e r a t o r pulsed r e a c t o r s " too. . The equation for the f i s s i o n rate w i s dw _ ew_ Stot dt T + TV (4) where r i s the prompt generation time and e = p /3 is the prompt reactivity. including the pulsed subcritical region.tt) with em the peak prompt reactivity. II. 2 ' 3 It can be obtained by integration of the neutron kinetics equations during a pulse. In the present f o r m of the d i s c r e t e kinetics method reactivity feedback during the pulse will be neglected. (4) using M. therefore. A. It i s usually a s s u m e d that the peak of the reactivity pulse has a p a r a bolic shape e x p r e s s e d in the f o r m PERIOD p = 6m - avzt2 (5) parabolic part. It can be determined beforehand by one of the usual methods of treating reactivity e x c u r s i o n s .Ciip) = liiUFJp) (1) where Fp(p) i s the number of f i s s i o n s in the p'\h pulse and ftf i s the z'th delayed-neutron p r e c u r s o r production per f i s s i o n . valid C. (1) and (2) gives a d i f ference equation for the p r e c u r s o r concentrations at the end of a pulse in t e r m s of the values before the pulse and M(p)} the value of M corresponding to the reactivity pulse in the p 'th period C{+(p) = C{(p) p r e c u r s o r production during pulse s o u r c e neutron production rate + (ft/0) M(p) [EXjCj(p) The i n c r e a s e in p r e c u r s o r concentration during the p'th pulse i s AQ = Ci (p) + i + S ] . by numerical integration of Eqs. and between p u l s e s . modulated reactivity while " a c c e l e r ator pulsed r e a c t o r s " are those with modulated reactivity and synchronized s o u r c e injection f r o m an a c c e l e r a t o r .are multiplying a s s e m b l i e s with periodically. Then (2) where M: and S = external neutron source (which i s p r e sent for start-up). we evaluate S t o t at the M(p) i s a function which i s considered to be known as far a s the d i s c r e t e kinetics are concerned. or repetitively. 1. Combination of Eqs. Eq. While we consider in this present work only s y s t e m s of the f i r s t kind. During the Pulse during the beginning of the pulse. (3) .

To obtain these expressions we first consider the case with no external source. Between Pulses solution of the inhomogeneous equation by introducing a function g{{t) equal to the number of i 'th precursors at time t resulting from one source neutron introduced at time zero. e 0 .These methods for determining M(p) have been recalled for reference purposes. e 0 and the kinetics parameters Pi and A I f desired. which are often constant for a whole s e r i e s of problems.) From Eq. T. (2) is not a necessary feature of the discrete kinetics method. it is convenient to make the calculation in two steps according to Eqs. S.t) S(t) d t s f j g. M(em). (7) T0 S ^ (12) with boundary condition The precursor equations become = + Comparing Eqs. A.. We see from Eq.. (15) The complete solution for C. Then the inhomogeneous solution may be written cjnh (T) = f : gi (T . (9) C. (10). With External Source To obtain the solution of the inhomogeneous Eq. Other Quantities of Interest Number of Fissions Between Pulses The number of fissions between pulses in the p'th period Fb(p) is calculated as \ Fb(p)=f?w(t)dt (17a) . e 0 and T. the solution is also good for a source strength which varies slowly in time. (6)]is required for the application of the discrete kinetics method. (4). Since G. we use Eq.-. (9) as solution of the homogeneous equation and obtain a We now have obtained the difference equations (3) and (16) expressing the change in precursor concentrations over one period as a function of the initial values. No External Source We write the solution for C. T.(0) = 6. & e i ° Thus Cinh(r) . /3. However. Then. (t) dt . (t) .-(/) in terms of the Green's function G. D. (11) where S is the average value of the external source during the period.-y (:T) = Gij is a function only of A. Complete Precursor Formulation Difference where we see from Eq. (3) and (16). As mentioned earlier.-?(f) which gives the number of i'th precursors at time t resulting from onej'th precursor at time zero. Ciip / gi(t) = £ Gi. (9) is very convenient. The fission rate follows the source with negligible delay.(0) = C. (9) and (14) CAP + 1) = E Gi. with boundary conditions C.. Extensions can be made to treat accelerator pulsed reactors or systems where reactivity feedback during the pulse is important.+ can be obtained by combining the two equations. while an explicity expression [of the type of Eq. B.or C.(p + 1) with source is the sum of Eqs. and from Eq.A Gif + (h/e0) E ^ mGmj m (10) subject to boundary conditions G. (8) we see that g { is the solution of the equation W =+ We assume that between the pulses the prompt reactivity (p .-. C/ (p) + f 7 fc external ° j E P>iAa • Equation (16) (T)Cj+(p) ..-? matrix can be readily calculated by numerical methods from Eq. (10) and (12) defining Gij and we see that (8) gi.y. its determination is independent from this method. (8) that Gt-. (8) that the precursor concentrations at the end of the period Ci(T) can be expressed in the terms of the initial values and S. A G. In practice. Mt) = |~E + S /(wo) . .13) has the constant value -e 0 .(f) for 0 < t < T is the solution to the equations dGif/dt = . (Thus.. (8) with external source. for a given set of constants ft. an expression containing only C. (13) S s (14) / where we define A a = fo GijiDdt . the formulation in Eq. the linear dependence between Fp andS tot used in Eq.

(22) as a set of linear equations. Pulsed Critical: The inverse matrix (B{j)_1 can be easily obtained using standard matrix inversion codes. Precursors Concentrations in Steady State It is of interest to know the values of C. (9) C. (16) and the definition Eq. After some rearranging. in particular. (3) and (16). we use Eq. to have starting values for a discrete kinetics calculation. j3vw = J^ X{Ci. . Eq. we may write after some algebra Ci(P + 1) = E G{j C. = s ( f ' r e l i c t . (P) + J £ Pi Gij | e X. (23) Using Eq. (28) From Eqs. (2).can be obtained using Eq. the set of equations Z/ Pij Cj . so we may write from Eq. which expresses that production and decay of precursors during a period are equal We can formally express the solution of these equations for C{ as Ci = ( p Pik1 -Rk)s .= Bi w (24) (18) where a{j = f*dt and thus.. we may formally express the solution for the precursor concentrations at the end of the pulse in steady-state operation C? using matrix notation as Cf. we obtain w (20) The equilibrium condition. (2) and (17c). (22) We may introduce in Eq. (15) JJ dtCi (t) = £ AijC+ip) + 1 £ 0/ to > If we consider Eq. (22) the pulsed criticality condition. (9).Gij . respectively. pulsed subcritical with source. Q(/>)j In this case. (7) this becomes F ^ ^ — ^ ^ i f o d t C M ) • in steady s t a t e 3 / (17b) M/T + j3/e 0 = 1 . » ^0/ Mean Fission Rate or Power in the Period The mean fission rate in the period is w(p) = (l/T)[Fp(p) + Fb(p)] . with Bi fyv Xi "" (25) ST ve0 ( i ^ s ^ ) • (H„ where B i f are elements of the inverse of the B{j matrix which has matrix elements ^ ^ (26) vfo vnn 1 source. Pulsed Subcritical With Source Steady-state conditions in subcritical state can be obtained by using the condition Ci(p + 1) = Ci(p) = Ci . and (17c) to express the mean power in terms of the precursor concentrations.. (19) with Eqs. ve0 X . (19) The precursor concentrations at the beginning of the pulse in steady state C.(p)} Cf(p) in steady-state conditions. (20) C . gives from Eq. (33) .and using Eq.— Xj E fikPik p k and (31) ) (30) The mean (period-averaged) value of the z'th precursor concentration in steady state is obtained from the neutron precursor equation as Ci = & vw (21) and thus. = E Gij C* (27) where Fp(p) and Fb{p) are given by Eqs.RiS i where M Pij = 6 .Aij{t) . (28). (29). We consider two cases: pulsed critical (no source). + V » a second c anrtn/4 term fo y»vyi on r»r>the tko With no external the right side is zero.

(41) h ? ftX< neglecting the t e r m s A. allowance for decay of source precursors gives Gn = exp ( . The r e d u c tion of the previous multigroup equations to one group y i e l d s : Fp(p) = [M{p)/M (AC +S) C+(p) = [1 + AM(p)] C(p) + M(p) S C(p+1) = GC(p) + + (p/e0)AS (38) + (ST/ve0) Fb(p) = [AC (p)/ve0]A G = exp[-A(l ./3.e.. period averaged) p r e c u r s o r concentrations : no source C = fivw/X (42) where the l a s t t e r m i s just the f i s s i o n s due to a with Improved approximations can also be used.T)"| ^ 0iXjT / X'fT \ ~ e0 L A)T J e0 V1 " 2 / * These relations are useful for improving values for the shortest lived precursor.X j T ) . For example.-. E./ 3 / e 0 ) T ] = e x p ( .exp(-A. X « 1 ./" 1 are the elements of the i n v e r s e of the Pi] matrix which may be e a s i l y found by standard matrix inversion methods. With this approximation.AT) e0 ir 2 i* J (39) with (37) /3A/ T 3 source GM + A c~ L e0 6 i * j " 1 . 3 This i s equivalent to considering the right-hand side of Eq.s t a t e conditions reduce to the following: no (36) source ft vw C~ = 1 with A/ = A. we consider a s t e p change in .S 9 J 2e 0 PX'T 2e0(l . (17c) can be s i m p l i f i e d with n e g l i gible e r r o r to Fb ( P ) = j f 0 T j S Ail CfiP) + ^ . and the value of the subcritical multiplication factor has been introduced K=M/T+j3/e0 . The s t e a d y . the relations for the mean (i. A t j and (35) become PiXj T 2 p vw A AT l +A e 0 2(1 . "INHOUR EQUATION" FOR PULSED REACTORS A.G ) / A ' These equations reduce to the n o .-.T/3 compared to unity. for comparison. the last term in the bracket in Eq./e 0 ). Some Simplifying Approximations prompt multiplication of the s o u r c e neutrons e m i t ted during the period.(1 +XM)G •-tL — s With this approximation for a.where P. Relations for One-Precursor-Group Model When \{T « 1 . the e x p r e s s i o n s obtained above can be s i m p l i f i e d by using an approximation of the Green's function Gij in which we consider only direct z'th p r e c u r s o r production f r o m the j'th source p r e c u r s o r and we neglect all p r e c u r s o r decay during the period. F. = 0. and ( T / 2 e ) 2 0 . (43 while allowance for decay of one precursor (7'th) gives ftX/. III. Integration over the period then g i v e s % =3 i +j (34) A o n e .s o u r c e c a s e with S = 0.A T ) A = (1 .T ri .AT) AT AT S A » (40) w h e r e . For 2 3 5 U. (10) a s constant at the initial value. (17d> We note. Eqs. Eq. (34) and (36) have been used. (17c) b e c o m e s 1 eoT^ T K + ( .g r o u p model i s sufficient for s o m e kinetics and dynamics studies. in the approximations.0028. SftX. General Formulation In order to obtain an ''inhour equation" for the behavior of Q(p). source C = {S/X)K/{1 -K) . 0 T h e r e f o r e .p e r c u r s o r .(l .

The multigroup treatment has been included in a digital pulsed reactor simulation code including thermal and control feedback loops. The one-group treatment is being incorporated in a digital-analogue pulsed reactor simulator. CONCLUSION Setting the determinant /F . (45) and carrying through the summation over j yields . x a r C f ^ j M ^ r x e ^Ci(p) = o /Xf - £o 1T Multiply by X. Introducing these approximations into Eq.-. . B. yields the inhour equation for the decay constants w k . then 1 = ^ E P Ai j3(w + Xf) Introducing this into Eq. valid for X. (41). The difference formulation developed is well suited for digital calculation.-] = exp(cor) [C{] with the matrix elements Fij = G ( 7 + ^ X . We may also use the approximate Eq. where £ is a unit matrix. foGih • (47) IV.( l / e 0 ) S fo>k\T compared to unity and introduce the multiplication factor K from Eq. cancel the common term Z Xm Cm (p) to find ftAf 1 h Ie0 M T 1 (w+Xi) The discrete neutron kinetics model for pulsed reactors developed in this paper is an extension of the mean kinetics model which allows accurate treatment of pulsed reactor kinetics for much faster transients. (34) for Gi. 2 ' 3 K This is a set of homogeneous equations which can be written in matrix form as (F) [C. These applications will be described in future publications. .. (3) to eliminate C}.T « 1 .. we obtain e x p ( w r ) C ^ p ) = E GijCjip) + j Z G i j (48) p j [E HCkiP)\ (45) This may be rearranged to give the inhour equation previously determined from the mean power kinetics./(w + X.)T and sum over i.reactivity from pulsed criticality and seek solutions to the difference equations of the form Ct{p+ 1) =exp(u>r) Ciip) . An inhour equation for pulsed reactors has been developed from the discrete kinetics equations and shown to reduce to the inhour equation determined from the mean power kinetics in the limit of periods much longer than the pulse period.e x p ( w T ) E / = 0. (44) We neglect [X. Simplification for Slow Transients For periods where wT « 1 . .E P k (49) y |3(w + X f ) • (46) The pulsed criticality condition K = 1 is seen to result from this equation. we may approximate exp(cor) = 1 + u T . (16) and using Eq.( ..

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