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The following topics are covered in this class

  • Principles of neutron chain reacting systems.
  • Neutron diffusion and moderation.
  • One, two and multi group diffusion equation solution methods.
  • Heterogeneous reactors.
  • Nuclear fuel steady-state performance.
  • Core thermal-hydraulics.
  • Core thermal design.

This course provides students with an introduction to the key elements of reactor physics and thermalhydraulics.

The topics are broken into three basic divisions for the semester as given below:

I. Neutron Diffusion

II. Reactor Theory

III. Reactor Design

Students completing this course will be able to discuss aspects of reactor physics and the implications that reactor physics has on the engineering of nuclear systems. Students will be able to perform analyses on simple reactor geometries and describe and understand the main reactivity feedback mechanisms, and their significance, on reactor design and control.

Key concepts such as neutron flux and diffusion are first introduced. These are then utilised to demonstrate multiplication and criticality. The neutron life cycle in thermal reactors is described along with fast and delayed neutron production. Reflected reactors and reactor kinetics are discussed including doubling times, reactivity feedback mechanisms, power and temperature coefficients. The course concludes with a discussion on thermal hydraulics..

A prerequisite for this course is ENGG9741 Introduction to Nuclear Engineering or YENG9741 Nuclear Reactor Theory and Design as the material builds on the physical processes at work during fission including neutron flux, criticality, moderation, reactor dynamics and transients.

Study Level


Offering Terms

Term 2



Indicative contact hours


Course Outline

To access course outline, please visit:


Pre-2019 Handbook Editions

Access past handbook editions (2018 and prior)

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