NE 403 Nuclear Reactor Laboratory

This course is a nuclear reactor laboratory mainly performed on PULSTAR reactor. It is designed to integrate reactor physics lectures, demonstrations, and hands-on experiments, aiming to provide opportunities for students to utilize the theoretical knowledge obtained in the classroom in the real-world applications. Students are expected to gain a deeper understanding of reactor theory concept through data acquisition and analysis. Topics include reactor startup and approach to critical, neutron flux mapping, measurement of void reactivity coefficient, control rod calibration, and dynamic measurement of power coefficient of reactivity. The course also contains one simulation and analysis module using the generic Pressurized Water Reactor (gPWR) simulator in the Nuclear Simulation Laboratory (NSL).

NE 412/512 Nuclear Fuel Cycle

Main topics include processing of nuclear fuel with description of mining, milling, conversion, enrichment, fabrication, irradiation, shipping, reprocessing, and waste disposal. In-core and out-of-core nuclear fuel management, engineering concepts and methodology. Fuel cycle economics, fuel cost calculation, and discussions of advanced fuel cycles. Computational methods for reactor design and analysis.

This course is open to both undergraduate and graduate students with an engineering online session.

NE 491/591 Special Topics: Advanced Reactor Theory and Concepts

This course is intended to provide students with an understanding of the technology associated with advanced reactors (ARs) using coolants other than light water viz., molten salt, gas, or liquid metal. Moving nuclear fission from a water coolant to the coolants of salt, gas, and metal will revolutionize fission, just as jet engines and fracking revolutionized commercial air transportation and oil/gas production, respectively. The AR technology is expected to bring several benefits over light water reactors (LWRs), such as enhanced safety features, flexible operations, lower costs, increase efficiency, reduced waste production, higher resource utilization, and lower proliferation risk, etc. To achieve these benefits, the neutron energy (or spectrum) and thermal dynamics in various AR designs differ significantly from LWRs, so will be their system designs. This course will focus on the fundamentals of AR concepts, including their neutronics, systems, and safety performance, as well as technology roadmap and policy issues.

This course is open to both undergraduate and graduate students with an engineering online session.