2019 Nuclear Reactor Theory I

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Academic unit or major
Graduate major in Nuclear Engineering
Obara Toru  Nishiyama Jun 
Class Format
Lecture / Exercise     
Media-enhanced courses
Day/Period(Room No.)
Mon5-8(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 aims to give fundamental knowledge about neutron transport theory necessary to understand the principles of nuclear reactors. First of all, there will be an introduction about nuclear reactions between nucleus and neutrons, and fission reaction chain, which are needed to understand the principles of nuclear reactors. After that, fundamentals of neutron transport equations will be explained. Neutron diffusion equation, which is widely used in the analysis of neutron transport in nuclear reactor, is explained together with the solution of the equation and important phenomena which was obtained by the equation.

Student learning outcomes

By the end of course, the students will be able to perform the following, which are needed in nuclear reactor analysis.
1) Explain the principles of nuclear reactor based on neutron transport theory and neutron diffusion theory.
2) Analyze fundamental phenomena of neutron transport in nuclear reactors
3) Explain some fundamental and important phenomenon in nuclear reactors


Reactor physics, neutron transport, nuclear reactor

Competencies that will be developed

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

Class flow

After the lecture for each topic, exercises will be given to students to deepen the understanding of the topic.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Nuclear reactions and nuclear cross sections Explain the fundamental nuclear reactions and the concept of nuclear cross sections and perform the fundamental analysis.
Class 2 Nuclear fission chain reaction Explain the concept of nuclear fission chain reaction, neutron multiplication and criticality and perform the fundamental analysis.
Class 3 Neutron transport equation Explain the fundamental concept for neutron transport theory and neutron transport equation and perfom the fundamental analysis.
Class 4 One-speed diffusion theory Explain the concept of neutron diffusion equation and solve it in non-multiplying media.
Class 5 One-speed diffusion theory for a nuclear reactor (1) - Slab reactor Solve the diffusion equation for slab reactor.
Class 6 One-speed diffusion theory for a nuclear reactor (2) -General reactor Solve the diffusion equation for general reactor with fundamental geometry.
Class 7 Multigroup diffusion theory Explain the concept and solution of multigroup diffusion equation and solve the two-group equation.
Class 8 Review of Lectures Students must be able to explain about fundamental of neutron transport theory systematically.


No textbook. The lecture notes are uploaded on the Tokyo Tech OCW.

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).

Assessment criteria and methods

Students are assessed n the understanding of fundamental principles, phenomenon, and analysis method in neutron transport theory.
Exercises: 50%
Final exam: 50%

Related courses

  • NCL.N406 : Nuclear Reactor Theory II

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

Fundamental knowledge about vector analysis

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

tobara[at]lane.iir.titech.ac.jp (Prof. Obara)

Office hours

Prior appointment by e-mail is required.

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