Dynamic analysis of multiple nuclear-coupled boiling channels based on a multi-point reactor model

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2358-2374
Journal / PublicationNuclear Engineering and Design
Issue number22
Online published20 Jul 2005
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2005
Externally publishedYes


This work investigates the non-linear dynamics and stabilities of a multiple nuclear-coupled boiling channel system based on a multi-point reactor model using the Galerkin nodal approximation method. The nodal approximation method for the multiple boiling channels developed by Lee and Pan [Lee, J.D., Pan, C., 1999. Dynamics of multiple parallel boiling channel systems with forced flows. Nucl. Eng. Des. 192, 31-44] is extended to address the two-phase flow dynamics in the present study. The multi-point reactor model, modified from Uehiro et al. [Uehiro, M., Rao, Y.F., Fukuda, K., 1996. Linear stability analysis on instabilities of in-phase and out-of-phase modes in boiling water reactors. J. Nucl. Sci. Technol. 33, 628-635], is employed to study a multiple-channel system with unequal steady-state neutron density distribution. Stability maps, non-linear dynamics and effects of major parameters on the multiple nuclear-coupled boiling channel system subject to a constant total flow rate are examined. This study finds that the void-reactivity feedback and neutron interactions among subcores are coupled and their competing effects may influence the system stability under different operating conditions. For those cases with strong neutron interaction conditions, by strengthening the void-reactivity feedback, the nuclear-coupled effect on the non-linear dynamics may induce two unstable oscillation modes, the supercritical Hopf bifurcation and the subcritical Hopf bifurcation. Moreover, for those cases with weak neutron interactions, by quadrupling the void-reactivity feedback coefficient, period-doubling and complex chaotic oscillations may appear in a three-channel system under some specific operating conditions. A unique type of complex chaotic attractor may evolve from the Rossler attractor because of the coupled channel-to-channel thermal-hydraulic and subcore-to-subcore neutron interactions. Such a complex chaotic attractor has the imbedding dimension of 5 and the fractal dimension ranging from 1.26 to 1.35.