2020 Nuclear Reactor Theory II

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Academic unit or major
Graduate major in Nuclear Engineering
Obara Toru  Nishiyama Jun 
Class Format
Lecture / Exercise    (ZOOM)
Media-enhanced courses
Day/Period(Room No.)
Mon5-8(原講571, North Bidg. 2, 5F-571)  
Course number
Academic year
Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
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Course description and aims

This course provides the fundamentals of nuclear reactor theory based on the knowledge of neutron interactions, especially about reactor kinetics, neutron distribution, reactivity feedback, and burnup characteristics, which are necessary to understand the principal and the characteristics of nuclear reactors.

Student learning outcomes

By the end of the course, students will be able to:
1. Explain the fundamental theory of nuclear reactor kinetics, neutron diffusion approximation, neutron distribution in the core, reactivity feedback effect, and reactor core burnup.
2. Perform the fundamental analysis of these topics.


Reactor kinetics, neutron diffusion approximation, neutron spatial distribution, reactivity feedback, core burnup

Competencies that will be developed

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

Class flow

First, the topics of the day will be lectured. The next, students do exercises related to the topic to deepen the understanding of the topic.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Reactor kinetics Students must be able to explain point reactor kinetic theory and perform fundamental analysis.
Class 2 Spatial diffusion of neutrons (1) Neutron diffusion equation, nonmultiplying systems, boundary conditions Students must be able to explain neutron diffusion equation, neutron diffusion in nonmultiplying systems and perform the fundamental analysis.
Class 3 Spatial diffusion of neutrons (2) Diffusion length, multiplying systems Students must be able to explain neutron diffusion in multiplying systems and perform the fundamental analysis.
Class 4 Neutron distributions in reactors (1) Time-independent diffusion equation, uniform reactors, neutron leakage Students must be able to explain the solution of neutron diffusion equation in stable homogeneous reactors and perform the fundamental analysis.
Class 5 Neutron distributions in reactors (2) Reflected reactors, control poisons Students must be able to explain the solution of neutron diffusion equation of the reactors with reflectors and perform the fundamental analysis.
Class 6 Reactivity feedback Students must be able to explain reactivity feedback effects and perform the fundamental analysts.
Class 7 Long-term core behavior Students must be able to explain the burnup effect and perform the fundamental analysis.

Out-of-Class Study Time (Preparation and Review)

To enhance effective learning, students are encouraged to spend approximately 100 minutes preparing for class and another 100 minutes reviewing class content afterwards (including assignments) for each class.
They should do so by referring to textbooks and other course material.


E.E. Lewis, “Fundamentals of Nuclear Reactor Physics”, Academic Press (2008). ISBN: 978-0-12-3-370631-7

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).

Assessment criteria and methods

Students are assessed the understanding of fundamental phenomenon which are important to understand the principal of nuclear reactors and the skill to analyze.
Exercises and assignment: 100%

Related courses

  • NCL.N402 : Nuclear Reactor Theory I

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

Knowledge about the theory in Nuclear Reactor Theory I

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 necessary.

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