Time discretization of the point kinetic equations using matrix exponential method and First-Order Hold | Academic Article individual record

A system of nonlinear differential equations is derived to model the dynamics of neutron density and the delayed neutron precursors within a point kinetics equation modeling framework for a nuclear reactor. The point kinetic equations are mathematically characterized as stiff, occasionally nonlinear, ordinary differential equations, posing significant challenges when numerical solutions are sought and traditionally resulting in the need for smaller time step intervals within various computational schemes. In light of the above realization, the present paper proposes a new discretization method inspired by system-theoretic notions and technically based on a combination of the matrix exponential method (MEM) and the First-Order Hold (FOH) assumption. Under the proposed time discretization structure, the sampled-data representation of the nonlinear point kinetic system of equations is derived. The performance of the proposed time discretization procedure is evaluated using several case studies with sinusoidal reactivity profiles and multiple input examples (reactivity and neutron source function). It is shown, that by applying the proposed method under a First-Order Hold for the neutron density and the precursor concentrations at each time step interval, the stiffness problem associated with the point kinetic equations can be adequately addressed and resolved. Finally, as evidenced by the aforementioned detailed simulation studies, the proposed method retains its validity and accuracy for a wide range of reactor operating conditions, including large sampling periods dictated by physical and/or technical limitations associated with the current state of sensor and digital reactor control system technology. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

author list (cited authors)
Park, Y., Kazantzis, N., Parlos, A. G., & Chong, K. T.
publication date
published in
  • Matrix Exponential Method (mem)
  • Point Kinetics Equations
  • First-order Hold (foh)
  • Nuclear Reactor Dynamics
  • Stiff Differential Equations
  • Time Discretization
citation count