2016 Nuclear Materials and Structures

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Academic unit or major
Graduate major in Nuclear Engineering
Yano Toyohiko  Takahashi Minoru 
Course component(s)
Day/Period(Room No.)
Mon3-4(原講571, North No.2, 5F-571)  Thr3-4(原講571, North No.2, 5F-571)  
Course number
Academic year
Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
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Course description and aims

This course focuses on materials issue related to fission nuclear reactors, and covers the fundamentals of nuclear materials and structural mechanics.
The contents are as follows:
a) Introduction of reactor types and major components of each reactor.
b) Materials science of nuclear fuel materials.
c) Coolants and control materials.
d) Cladding materials.
e) Neutron radiation damage and introduction of crystalline defects into crystals.
f) Property changes due to neutron irradiation.
g) Thermal stability of defects.
h) Structural mechanics of fuel assembly and reactor systems
Aim of this course includes getting knowledge of nuclear materials and irradiation damage, structure of nuclear reactor components and required strength for them. These knowledge is the base for nuclear safety consideration.

Student learning outcomes

Students will be able to explain and discuss
1) Major components of fission nuclear reactors,
(a) such as nuclear fuels, structural materials, (b) control materials, coolants, (c) shielding materials,
from the view of materials science
2) Radiation damage of structural materials
3) Structural mechanics of nuclear reactors


Fission nuclear reactor, Nuclear material, Fuel and structural materials, Neutron radiation damage, Defects in crystals, Structural mechanics, Structural design

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

1) The instructor explains with writing on the board. Students should take notes.
2) Attendance is taken in every class.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Nuclear fission reaction and variety of nuclear fission reactors. Main components of nuclear reactors.
Class 2 Fabrication process of metals and relation to their mechanical properties.
Class 3 Requirements of materials properties for nuclear applications.
Class 4 Interaction between neutrons and materials
Class 5 Structural defects in crystal
Class 6 Introduction of crystalline defects into materials and their recovery.
Class 7 Properties of mettalic fuel materials and their irradiation response.
Class 8 Properties of oxide fuels and their irradiation response.
Class 9 Structural materials and thier irradiation response.
Class 10 Control materials, coolants and shielding materials Midterm exam.
Class 11 Fundamentals on structural integrity of components in nuclear power plant
Class 12 Fundamentals on structural design of nuclear reactor: (1) Material mechanics
Class 13 Fundamentals on structural design of nuclear reactor: (2) Strength design of nuclear reactor components
Class 14 Structural design of light water reactor
Class 15 Structural design of fast water reactor


None required.

Reference books, course materials, etc.

Benjamin Ma, Nuclear reactor materials and applications, Van Norstrand reinhold company, ISBN:0-442-22559-8
Murray and Holbert, Nuclear Energy, 7th edition, Elsevier ISBN:978-0-12-416654-7

Assessment criteria and methods

Students’ course scores are based on midterm and final exams.

Related courses

  • NCL.C401 : Nuclear Fuel Cycle Engineering
  • NCL.D401 : Experiments for Materials related to Decommissioning A
  • TSE.A202 : Solid Mechanics and Structure Engineering

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

No prerequisites.

Contact information (e-mail and phone)    Notice : Please replace from "[at]" to "@"(half-width character).

Toyohiko Yano (tyano[at]nr.titech.ac.jp, 3380)
Minoru Takahashi (mtakahas[at]nr.titech.ac.jp, 2957)

Office hours

Contact by e-mail in advance to schedule an appointment.

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