2017 Nuclear Reactor Thermal-hydraulics

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Academic unit or major
Graduate major in Nuclear Engineering
Takahashi Minoru  Kikura Hiroshige 
Course component(s)
Day/Period(Room No.)
Mon3-4(原講571)  Thr3-4(原講571)  
Course number
Academic year
Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
Language used
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Course description and aims

To lecture the theories of heat generation and cooling in nuclear fission and fusion reactors based on thermal-hydraulics, and to lecture the energy conversion theory from the heat to power based on thermodynamics.
The purpose of the course is to let students to get the thermal-hydraulics theories necessary for thermal design and safety of fission and fusion nuclear reactors.

Student learning outcomes

Students have the ability of theoretical calculations and/or qualitative explanation on the following items: (1) Generation of heat in nuclear reactor, (2) Heat conduction in fuel elements of nuclear reactors, (3) Single-phase flow cooling of nuclear reactors, (4) Phase changes of reactor coolants, (5) Boiling two-phase flow cooling of nuclear reactors, (6) Thermal-hydraulic phenomena related to nuclear reactor safety, (7) Energy conversion from heat to power in nuclear reactor


Fission reaction, Fusion reaction, Nuclear reactor, Blanket, Cooling, Heat conduction, Convective heat transfer, Boiling, Condensation, Two-phase flow, Thermal cycle

Competencies that will be developed

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

Class flow

The instructor will give a lecture and a quiz in every class, and will return the evaluated quiz to students in the following class.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Generation of heat (1) Heat generation of fission and fusion reactions Calculation of heat generation due to mass defect
Class 2 Generation of heat (2) Heat generation in coolant, structural and shield materials and decay heat Calculation of decay heat
Class 3 Heat conduction (1) Temperature distribution in fuel element Calculation of temperature difference between center and surface in fuel element
Class 4 Heat conduction (2) Temperature distributions in fuel cladding, structural materials and first wall Calculation of temperature distribution in thermal shield
Class 5 Single-phase flow cooling (1) Temperature on surface of fuel element (convective and radiation heat transfer) Calculation of temperature at the surface of fuel element
Class 6 Single-phase flow cooling (2) Multi-dimensional thermal-hydraulics in plenum Study on derivation of conservation equations for thermal-hydraulic analysis
Class 7 Single-phase flow cooling (3) Turbulence phenomena and analytical models Study on derivation of the equations of turbulent models
Class 8 Phase changes of coolant (1) Pool boiling heat transfer and critical heat flux Explanation of boiling curve
Class 9 Phase changes of coolant (2) Condensation heat transfer (film, dropwise and direct contact condensations) Explanation about the importance of condensation in nuclear reactor system
Class 10 Boiling two-phase flow cooling (1) Gas-liquid two-phase flow (flow regime, two-phase flow theory) Explanation about the flow regime of two-phase flows
Class 11 Boiling two-phase flow cooling (2) Boiling two-phase flow (heat transfer, steam quality, critical heat flux) Calculation of steam quality in boiling two-phase flow
Class 12 Thermal-hydraulic phenomena related to reactor safety (1) Thermal stratification, thermal shock, thermal fatigue, gas entrainment, steam-liquid droplet separation Explanation of thermal-hydraulic phenomena dealt with in lecture
Class 13 Thermal-hydraulic phenomena related to reactor safety (2) Cavitation, droplet flow, reflooding, two-phase critical flow, vapor explosion Explanation of thermal-hydraulic phenomena dealt with in lecture
Class 14 Thermal-hydraulic phenomena related to reactor safety (3) Chugging, two-phase flow instabilities Explanation of thermal-hydraulic phenomena dealt with in lecture
Class 15 Energy conversion from heat to power in nuclear reactor (steam and gas turbine cycles, thermal efficiencies) Calculation of the thermal efficiency of thermal cycle in nuclear reactor


Text can be downloaded from website

Reference books, course materials, etc.

[1]S. Glasstone & A. Sesonske, Nuclear reactor Engineering (4th ed.), Chapman & Hall
[2] R. Byron Bird, et al., Transport Phenomena (2nd ed.), John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
[3] H. Schlichting & K. Gersten, Boundary Layer Theory (8th ed.), Springer

Assessment criteria and methods

Report of given subjects or examination

Related courses

  • NCL.N404 : Thermal‐Hydraulics and Radiation‐Measurement Laboratory
  • NCL.N407 : Nuclear Safety Engineering
  • NCL.N406 : Nuclear Reactor Theory
  • NCL.A402 : Nuclear Fusion Reactor Engineering
  • TSE.A205 : Fluid Engineering
  • MEC.E201 : Thermodynamics (Mechanical Engineering)
  • MEC.E311 : Heat Transfer
  • SCE.M302 : Fundamentals of Thermal Engineering
  • NCL.D403 : Experiment on Severe Accident Engineering

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

It is to be desired for students to have studied thermodynamics, fluid engineering, heat transfer and thermal engineering,

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

Professor Minoru Takahashi: mtakahas[at]lane.iir.titech.ac.jp, 03-5734-2957
Associate Professor Hiroshige Kikura: kikura[at]lane.iir.titech.ac.jp, 03-5734-3058

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