2018 Nuclear Reactor Theory

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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 provides a comprehensive overview of nuclear reactor theory based on the knowledge of neutron transport theory, especially about neutron slowing down process and the spectrum, which is important in criticality analysis of thermal reactor, reactor kinetic theory, which is important in the control and safety of nuclear reactor, and burnup analysis for the change of fuel composition during reactor operation.

Student learning outcomes

By the end of the course, students will be able to:
1. Explain the principles of neutron spectrum in thermal reactors
2. Perform fundamental kinetic analysis
3. Explain burnup analysis in the reactor operation and reactivity effects


Thermal reactor, Neutron slowing down, Neutron spectrum, Reactor kinetics, Burnup analysis, Reactivity effect

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 discussed in detail in the lecture. 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 Perturbation Theory Students must be able to explain about the method in perturbation theory and the concept of neutron importance and perform fundamental analysis.
Class 2 Point reactor kinetic theory Students must be able to explain about the point kinetic theory and to obtain fundamental solution.
Class 3 Neutron spectrum in nuclear reactor (1) : Neutron slowing down Students must be able to explain about the fundamental theory of neutron slowing down.
Class 4 Neutron spectrum in nuclear reactor (2): Resonance absorption, Heterogeneous Effect Students must be able to explain about the fundamental theory in resonance absorption and heterogeneous effect
Class 5 Neutron spectrum in nuclear reactor (3): Neutron slowing down and diffusion, thermal neutron theory Students must be able to explain about the fundamental theory in resonance absorption
Class 6 Bunrup analysis (1): Fission products poisoning effect Students must be able to explain about effect of fission products produced by reactor operation.
Class 7 Bunrup analysis (2): Fuel burnup analysis and reactivity control Students must be able to explain about the fundamentals of burnup analysis, reactivity control and feedback effects.
Class 8 Review of Lectures Students must be able to explain about fundamental of nuclear reactor theory systematically.


No text book is used. The lecture note will be opened by Tokyo Tech OCW before the class.

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 by the understanding of fundamentals of neutron transport theory.
Homework 50%, Final exam 50%.

Related courses

  • NCL.N402 : Neutron Transport Theory

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

Fundamental knowledge of neutron transport theory is needed.

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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