Some Issues of Teaching the Dynamics of Nuclear Reactors
The article considers a number of methodological issues of teaching the dynamics of nuclear reactors in order to optimize curricula to achieve a closer relationship between courses in theoretical, experimental and computational physics of nuclear reactors by clarifying a number of formulations, simplifying mathematical constructions and rationalizing the conceptual apparatus. Particular attention is paid to the introduction of the basic concepts of the nuclear reactor dynamics, – reactivity, generation times and neutron lifetimes, – based on the simplest balance of generation rates and neutron loss in the fission process. The preference of using reactivity in the Λ-scale – r = ρ/Λ is shown. It is proposed to describe the nuclear reactor dynamics based on a modified form of the integral dynamics equation. In this form, the equation is specified only by the time dependence of reactivity and the integral kernel, i.e., the reproduction function of delayed neutron precursors (DNP). This approach unifies the consideration of direct and inverse problems of dynamics, reducing them to calculating the integral for reproducing the DNPs. In the presence of several fissile nuclides, the kernel of the integral equation is the sum of the corresponding reproduction functions, and the latter do not require generally to be represented by the sum of exponentials. This allows us not to specify the number of groups of delayed neutron emitters and not to introduce simplifying assumptions in situations that have traditionally been considered under the assumption of one group of delayed neutrons and one fissile nuclide. The proposed changes reduce the physical volume of educational materials, but retain their semantic content and allow for more hours in the curricula for in-depth study of a number of pressing issues related to the management and identification of multiplying systems of various types.
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