2016 Introduction to Nuclear Engineering

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Academic unit or major
Undergraduate major in Transdisciplinary Science and Engineering
Igashira Masayuki  Oguri Yoshiyuki  Obara Toru  Iio Shunji  Akatsuka Hiroshi  Kikura Hiroshige 
Course component(s)
Mode of instruction
Day/Period(Room No.)
Mon1-2(S621)  Thr1-2(S621)  
Course number
Academic year
Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
Language used
Access Index

Course description and aims

Fission reactor systems and nuclear fusion reactor development in nuclear engineering are taken up in this class. First, basic nuclear characteristics, nuclear decay and radiation, and nuclear reaction physics are explained. Second, criticality, kinetics, and combustion characteristics of fission reactors are explained as well as reactor thermal hydrodynamics, nuclear system safety, and nuclear fuel cycles. Finally, basic plasma physics, nuclear fusion reactions and fusion plasma are explained as well as the history and present status of nuclear fusion reactor development.
To understand and obtain basic knowledge on physics in nuclear engineering, the mechanisms and safety of fission reactors, reactor thermal hydrodynamics, nuclear fuel cycles, fusion plasma, and the present status of nuclear fusion reactor development.

Student learning outcomes

By taking this course, the students are expected to obtain a wide range of basic knowledge on nuclear engineering and to apply that knowledge to understand the content of higher-level courses in nuclear engineering.


energy self-sufficiency rate, energy security, nuclear force, nuclear structure, nuclear binding energy, critical, nuclear reactor, safety, innovative nuclear energy systems, nuclear fuel, uranium enrichment, reprocessing of nuclear spent fuel, disposal of nuclear waste

Competencies that will be developed

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

Class flow

This omnibus course overviewing nuclear engineering, consists of 6 lecturers from their respective specialist fields.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Outline of this class, Energy situation in Japan To understand the energy security situation of Japan based on energy self-sufficiency rate, etc.
Class 2 Nuclear structure, Nuclear Binding Energy To obtain basic knowledge of nuclear engineering such as nuclear force, nuclear structure, nuclear binding energy, etc.
Class 3 Nuclear disintegration and radiation interactions Understand the generation mechanism of nuclear radiations due to the decay of unstable atomic nuclei and the interaction of the radiation with matter.
Class 4 Nuclear reactions and chain reactions of nuclear fission Understand the mechanisms of nuclear reactions and neutron-induced fission of heavy nuclei such as uranium.
Class 5 Criticality of nuclear reactor Students must be able to explain about the principal of cricitality in a nuclear reactor and conditions to achieve it.
Class 6 Reactor kinetices and burn-up Students must be able to explain the change in reactor power after the change of reactivity and change of reactor performance resulting from the burn-up of fuel.
Class 7 Fundamentals of thermal-hydraulics Students must be able to explain about the fundamentals of thermal-hydraulics in nuclear reactors.
Class 8 Thermal-hydraulics in nuclear reactors Students must be able to explain the thermal-hydraulic characteristic of nuclear reactors such as heat generation, boiling heat transfer, critical heat flux and so on, and to explain the differences of thermal-hydraulics between BWR and PWR.
Class 9 Nuclear reactor systems and safety Students must be able to expain the overview of nuclear reactor systems and the systems for safety.
Class 10 Innovative nuclear energy system Students must be able to expain the goal of an innovative nuclear energy system, which can be a next-generation reactor and its current development status.
Class 11 Nuclear Fuel Cycle Comprehensive understanding of the nuclear fuel cycle, i.e. nuclear fuels, uranium enrichment, burn-up in nuclear reactors, reprocessing and disposal of nuclear spent fuels.
Class 12 Fundamentals of plasmas Fundamentals of plasma science and engineering. Applications of plasma science to understand fundamental natural phenomena and various industrial applications.
Class 13 Nuclear fusion reactions and magnetic confinement To obtain basic knowledge of nuclear fusion reactions in stars as a source of energy, and magnetic plasma confinement to achieve fusion reactions on earth.
Class 14 Heating methods and diagnostics of fusion plasmas To understand the heating methods of plasmas to trigger enough fusion reactions and the diagnostic schemes to measure the temperature and density of plasmas.
Class 15 History and present status of fusion reactor development, report themes To understand the history and present status of research and development to realize fusion reactors.


None. Material for each class can be provided by the lecturer.

Reference books, course materials, etc.

Material for each class can be provided by the lecturer.

Assessment criteria and methods

Examination by each lecturer (60%) and homework (40%)

Related courses

  • CAP.E361 : Radiation Chemistry
  • CAP.E362 : Nuclear Chemical Engineering

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


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

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

Office hours

Prior appointment by e-mail is necessary.

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