2018 Nuclear Reactor Physics and Radiation Measurement Laboratory

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Academic unit or major
Graduate major in Nuclear Engineering
Obara Toru  Oguri Yoshiyuki  Katabuchi Tatsuya  Tsutsui Hiroaki  Hasegawa Jun  Nishiyama Jun 
Class Format
Media-enhanced courses
Day/Period(Room No.)
Thr5-6(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

The experiments will be basically performed at a nuclear facility, including Kyoto University Critical Assembly (KUCA). The students will stay at the facility, for example, for one week for the experiments. Basically the criticality experiments, the control rods calibration experiment, and the neutron flux distribution measurement experiment are performed using light water moderated core. The training for the operation of nuclear reactor and safety check of nuclear facility are also performed.
For the safe use of nuclear energy, it is necessary to understand fundamental theory of reactor physics and maintenance for safety of nuclear facility.
The radiation measurement laboratory offers an opportunity to learn technologies of radiation detectors and related equipment required for the neutron flux measurement at KUCA.

This class aims to deepen the understanding of them by the experiments and training.
The radiation measurement laboratory mainly aims at the understanding of operating principles and practical techniques of gamma-ray spectrometry used for absolute measurement of radioactivity of gold wire after neutron irradiation.

Student learning outcomes

By the end of the course, students will be able to:
1. Explain the principles of the experiments such as criticality approach, control rod worth measurement, and neutron flux measurement.
2. Perform the fundamental safety operation of nuclear facilities
3. Perform critical calculations using group constants
4. Explain the theory of reactor kinetic calculation and activation by neutrons
5. Explain operating principles of ionizing radiation detectors based on radiation-matter interaction
6. Explain the principle of radiation spectrometry based on multichannel pulse height analyzer systems
7. Perform absolute measurement of radioactivity using scintillation gamma-ray detectors
8. Perform identification of radionuclides by gamma-ray spectroscopy using germanium semiconductor detectors


Reactor physics, Criticality approach, criticality calculation, reactor kinetics, neutron flux measurement
Radiation-matter interaction, Scintillation detector, Germanium semiconductor detector, Multichannel pulse-height analyzer, Energy spectrum

Competencies that will be developed

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

Class flow

Pre-experiment lectures are provided before the experiments for the well understanding of the experiments. In the lectures, the outline of experimental apparatus, the principal of experiment, and the experiment procedure are explained. Students are requested to submit pre-report. The measurements and analyses are done by each student group. The group discussions about the experiment results are done after the experiments. Each student is requested to submit the experiment reports.
For radiation measurement experiments, instead of a lab report, a written exam is required.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 1. Criticality approach experiment 2. Period method and compensation method 3. Rod drop method 4. Neutron flux distribution measurement 5. Nuclear reactor operation 6. Gamma-ray measurement using a scintillation detector 7. Gamma-ray measurement using a germanium semiconductor detector 1.Students must be able to explain about the fundamental theory in critical approach experiment and perform criticality calculation, be able to estimate criticality mass by the inverse multiplication in criticality approach experiment, and be able to judge of criticality of nuclear reactor. 2.Student must be able to calculate control rod worth from the result of experiments by period method and compensation method. 3.Student must be able to calculate control rod worth from the result of experiments by rod drop method. 4.Students must be able to calculate neutron flux distribution from the results of activated foils. 5.Student must be able to explain about the fundamentals of nuclear reactor operation 6. Students must be able to perform absolute measurement of radioactivity using scintillation gamma-ray detectors 7. Students must be able to perform identification of radionuclides by gamma-ray spectroscopy using germanium semiconductor detectors


Tsuyosi Misawa, Hironobu Unesaki, Cheolho Pyen, ”Nuclear Reactor Physics Experiments”, Kyoto University Press (2010).

Reference books, course materials, etc.

John R. Lamarsh, “Introduction to Nuclear Reactor Theory”, Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, Inc. (1965).
James J. Duderstadt, Louis J. Hamilton, “Nuclear Reactor Analysis”, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (1976).
George I. Bell, Samuel Glasstone, “Nuclear Reactor Theory”, Robert E. Krieger Publishing Co., Inc. (1970).
Samuel Glasstone, Alexander Sesonske, "Nuclear Reactor Engineering", Chapman & Hall, Inc. (1994).
Weston M. Stacey, “Nuclear Reactor Physics”, WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA (2004).
Raymond L. Murray and Keith E. Holbert, "Nuclear Energy: An Introduction to The Concepts, Systems and Application of Nuclear Processes Seventh Edition", Elsevier Ltd. (2013).
E.E. Lewis, “Fundamentals of Nuclear Reactor Physics”, Academic Press (2008). (PDF file of the book can be downloaded from Tokyo Tech library.
Glenn F. Knoll, "Radiation Detection and Measurement", Wiley, ISBN-13:978-0470131480 (2010).

Assessment criteria and methods

Students are assessed by the understanding of fundamentals of neutron transport theory and nuclear reactor theory.
Pre-experiment report 35%, Experiment report 35%.
Grade of radiation measurement laboratory is evaluated from the students’ understanding of the principles and practical techniques of radiation measurement, based on lab participation and a final written exam.

Related courses

  • NCL.N402 : Neutron Transport Theory
  • NCL.N406 : Nuclear Reactor Theory
  • NCL.N401 : Basic Nuclear Physics

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

It is needed to have fundamental knowledge of neutron transport theory and nuclear reactor theory.
For radiation measurement Laboratory, it is desirable that students have some initial background knowledge on atomic physics.

Office hours

Prior appointment by e-mail is necessary.

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