The present paper summarizes the theoretical studies carried out by INET (Institute of Nuclear Energy Technology) of Tsinghua University on the first kind of density wave instabilities (DWIs) of natural circulation systems. The analysis methods of DWI and mathematical models of drift flux are presented. Based on the general excess entropy production criterion of non-equilibrium thermodynamics, an energy principle of DWI is established. (author). 10 refs, 16 figs.