2020 Nuclear Energy Systems

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Academic unit or major
Graduate major in Nuclear Engineering
Kikura Hiroshige  Kato Yukitaka  Sawada Tetsuo  Kondo Masatoshi  Harada Takuya  Uchibori Akihiro 
Course component(s)
Mode of instruction
Day/Period(Room No.)
Mon1-2(Zoom)  Thr1-2(Zoom)  
Course number
Academic year
Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
Language used
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Course description and aims

This course gives lectures on the fundamental structure of nuclear reactor systems, and the whole systems and main components of light water reactors, fast reactors, high temperature gas, etc. based on reactor physics, thermal engineering, material engineering, etc. In particular, the instructor explains and compares the characteristic features, advantages and disadvantages of commercial reactors, next generation reactors, innovative reactors and transmutation reactors. The purpose of the course is to let students know the characteristics of various nuclear reactor systems.

Student learning outcomes

Students understand the following matters in nuclear reactor systems, and are able to discuss the nuclear reactor systems that should be developed in the future from the viewpoint of science and engineering. (1) Whole structure of fission reactors, (2) Nuclear reactor systems and their designs (i) Commercial reactors in the past (Generation I), (ii) Current commercial reactors (Generation II) and advanced reactors (Generation III), (iii) Next generation reactors (Generation IV), (iv) Innovative reactors, (3) Comparison of characteristic features, advantages and disadvantages.


Nuclear reactor, Graphite moderator reactor, Heavy water reactor, Light water reactor, Boiling water reactor, Pressurized water reactor, Fast reactor, Gas-cooled reactor, Supercritical water-cooled reactor, Transmutation reactor, Innovative reactor

Competencies that will be developed

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

Class flow

As lectures move forward, understanding is assessed by quizzes and reports.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Outline & Gas-cooled Reactors: Gas-cooled Fast Reactor (GFR), High Temperature Gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) Explanation of the structure of fission nuclear reactors and Gas-cooled Reactors
Class 2 Fast Reactor: (1) Fundamentals) Explanation of Fundamentals of Fast Reactors
Class 3 Fast Reactor: (2) Sodium-cooed Reactors (SFR) ( MONJU) Explanation of special features of Sodium-cooed Reactors
Class 4 Fast Reactor: (3) Sodium-cooed Reactors (SFR) (Demonstration Reactor) Explanation of demonstration reactor of sodium-cooed Reactors (SFR)
Class 5 Fast Reactor: (4) Lead- and Lead-bismuth-cooed Reactors (LFR) Explanation of special features of lead- and lead-bismuth-cooed Reactors
Class 6 Light Water Reactor: (1) Boiling Water Reactors (BWR, ABWR, SBWR Explanation of special features of Boiling Water Reactors
Class 7 Light Water Reactor: (2) Pressurized Water Reactors (PWR, APWR) Explanation of special features of Pressurized Water Reactors
Class 8 Light Water Reactor: (3) Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plants Explanation of special features of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plants
Class 9 Light Water Reactor: (4) Supercritical Water-cooled Reactor (SCWR) Explanation of special features of Supercritical Water-cooled Reactor
Class 10 Transmutation reactor: Accelerator-driven Reactor (ADS) Explanation of special features of Accelerator-driven Reactor (ADS)
Class 11 Graphite-moderated Reactors: Carbon Dioxide-cooled Reactor (GCR), Boiling Water Reactor (RBMK) Explanation of special features of Graphite-moderated Reactors
Class 12 Innovative Reactors: (1) Thorium Cycle and Molten Salt-cooled Reactors Explanation of special features of Thorium Cycle and Molten Salt-cooled Reactors
Class 13 Innovative Reactors: (2) Super Critical CO2 Reactorsr Explanation of special features of Supercritical CO2-cooled Reactor
Class 14 Innovative Reactors: (3) Small Reactors, Long life Core, CANDLE core Explanation of special features of Small Reactors, Long life Core, and CANDLE core

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.


Textbook can be downloaded from website.

Reference books, course materials, etc.

[1] Y. Oka, "Nuclear Reactor Design," Springer
[2] "Thermal Design of Nuclear Reactors," Pergamon International Library
[3] A. E Walter & A. B. Reynolds, "Fast Breeder Reactors," Pergamon Press
[4] J. G. Yevick, "Fast Reactor Technology: plant Design," The M.I.T. Press
[5] H. Nifenecker, et al. "Accelerator Driven Subcritical Reactors," Institute of Physics Publishing

Assessment criteria and methods

Exercise and report

Related courses

  • NCL.N406 : Nuclear Reactor Theory
  • NCL.N403 : Nuclear Materials and Structures
  • NCL.N405 : Nuclear Reactor Thermal-hydraulics
  • NCL.N407 : Nuclear Safety Engineering
  • NCL.C401 : Nuclear Fuel Cycle Engineering

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

It is desired that students have studied nuclear reactor theory, nuclear materials and structures, and nuclear reactor thermal-hydraulics.

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

Professor Yukitaka Kato, yukitaka[at]lane.iir.titech.ac.jp, 03-5734-2967
Associate Professor Hiroshige Kikura, kikura[at]lane.iir.titech.ac.jp, 03-5734-3058

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