2023 Nuclear Reactor Thermal-hydraulics

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Academic unit or major
Graduate major in Nuclear Engineering
Kato Yukitaka  Murakami Yoichi  Kikura Hiroshige  Kondo Masatoshi  Takahashi Hideharu 
Class Format
Lecture    (Face-to-face)
Media-enhanced courses
Day/Period(Room No.)
Mon1-2(原講571, North 2-571)  Thr1-2(原講571, North 2-571)  
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

Often, lecturers give a lecture and a quiz in the class, and will return the evaluated quiz to students in the following class. However, the method of running the class and the evaluation method differ depending on the lecturer. Follow the explanations and instructions of each lecturer.

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 Energy of thermal fluids (first law of thermodynamics, internal energy, enthalpy, entropy, vaporization, boiling point) Calculation of Energy of thermal fluids
Class 6 Temperature on surface of fuel element (convective and radiation heat transfer) Calculation of temperature at the surface of fuel element
Class 7 Laws of heat transfer and dimensionless numbers (Laws of cooling and heat conduction, thermal resistance, characteristic length, hydraulic diameter, dimensionless numbers, Heisler charts) Acquisition of the ability to apply the contents of the lecture to specific problems
Class 8 Heat transfer by forced convection (Laminar flow and turbulent flow, flow along a flat plate, flow in a tube/duct, boundary conditions, entrance region, friction factor and pressure drop, Moody chart) Acquisition of the ability to apply the contents of the lecture to specific problems
Class 9 Heat transfer by natural convection and thermal radiation (Fundamental equations, underlying relations, and correlation equations of natural convection, mixed convection, laws of thermal radiation, electrical network analogy for thermal radiation problems, judgement of dominance between natural convection and thermal radiation heat transfers) Acquisition of the ability to apply the contents of the lecture to specific problems
Class 10 Applications to real systems and evaluation of performances (Fin and fin efficiency, condensers, heat exchangers, log mean temperature difference and overall heat transfer coefficient, some useful knowledge) Acquisition of the ability to apply the contents of the lecture to specific problems
Class 11 Boiling two-phase flow (1) Gas-liquid two-phase flow (flow regime, two-phase flow theory) Explanation about the flow regime of two-phase flows
Class 12 Boiling two-phase flow (2) Boiling two-phase flow (heat transfer, steam quality, critical heat flux)steam-liquid droplet separation Calculation of steam quality in boiling two-phase flow
Class 13 Thermal-hydraulic phenomena related to fast and fusion reactors (liquid metals and molten salts) Explanation of thermal-hydraulic phenomena dealt with in lecture
Class 14 Energy conversion from heat to power in nuclear reactor (steam and gas turbine cycles, thermal efficiencies) Explanation of thermal-hydraulic phenomena dealt with in lecture

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.


Text can be supplied form the lecturers.

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

Quiz and Report of given subjects, examination, etc.

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).

Prof. Yukitaka Kato:kato.y.ae[at]m.titech.ac.jp, 03-5734-2967
Prof. Yoichi Murakami:murakami.y.af[at]m.titech.ac.jp, 03-5734-3836
Associate Prof. Hiroshige Kikura:kikura.h.aa[at]m.titech.ac.jp, 03-5734-3058
Associate Prof. Masatoshi Kondo: kondo.m.ai[at]m.titech.ac.jp, 03-5734-3065
Assistant Prof. Hideharu Takahashi: takahashi.h.av[at]m.titech.ac.jp, 03-5734-2377

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