Nonlinear Xenon Oscillations

  • David L. Hetrick


Space-independent xenon oscillations are linearly unstable at high neutron flux, even with a negative power coefficient of reactivity, if the magnitude of the power coefficient is too small. These linearly unstable oscillations typically develop into stable limit cycles when nonlinear neutronics and xenon burnout are included. If the equilibrium flux is greater than about 2 × 1010, some linearly stable cases exhibit an unstable limit cycle inside a stable limit cycle. An example of this was first described in 1961 by Jack Chernick as “relaxation oscillations within the domain of linear stability.” This paper describes some aspects of the system in parameter space and state space.


Relaxation Oscillation Vortex Point Stable Limit Cycle Power Coefficient Fission Cross Section 


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  1. Chernick, J., Lellouche, G., and Wollman, W., 1961, The effect of temperature on xenon instability, Nucl. Sci. Engr., 10:120.Google Scholar
  2. Schultz, M. A., 1961, “Control of Nuclear Reactors and Power Plants,” 2nd ed., McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., New York.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • David L. Hetrick
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Nuclear and Energy EngineeringThe University of ArizonaTucsonUSA

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