Nuclear Science and Engineering / Volume 143 / Number 3 / March 2003 / Pages 211-225
The response of the critical power ratio to boiling water reactor (BWR) power oscillations is essential to the methods and practice of mitigating the effects of unstable density waves. Previous methods for calculating generic critical power response utilized direct time-domain simulations of unstable reactors. In this paper, advances in understanding the nature of the BWR oscillations and critical power phenomena are combined to develop a new method for calculating the critical power response. As the constraint of the reactor state - being at or slightly beyond the instability threshold - is removed, the new method allows the calculation of sensitivities to different operation and design parameters separately, and thus allows tighter safety margins to be used. The sensitivity to flow rate and the resulting oscillation frequency change are given special attention to evaluate the extension of the oscillation "detect-and-suppress" methods to internal pump plants where the flow rate at natural circulation and oscillation frequency are much lower than jet pump plants.