Undergraduate Teaching 2017-18

Engineering Tripos Part IIB, 4I10: Nuclear Reactor Engineering, 2015-16

Engineering Tripos Part IIB, 4I10: Nuclear Reactor Engineering, 2015-16

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Dr E Shwageraus


Dr E Shwageraus and Mr A Roulstone

Timing and Structure

Michaelmas term. 15 lectures, 1 examples class & 4 examples papers; Assessment: 100% exam




The aims of the course are to:

  • provide understanding of the principles of reactor systems, their engineering, and related thermo-hydraulics


As specific objectives, by the end of the course students should be able to:

  • understand the design and safe operation of nuclear reactors
  • perform approximate calculations of component & system parameters
  • understand how more precise and detailed analyses are performed


The course will cover:

  • Overview – compare and contrast the fundamental engineering principles of current types of reactor system: PWR, BWR, HWR, AGR;
  • Coolant types, heat transfer regimes, multi-phase flow, burn-out and thermal cycles;
  • Core analysis – flow networks, heat & mass transfer calculations, fuel element design, thermal limits – models and codes;
  • Whole reactor circuit, steam generator, pressuriser, pumps & whole circuit design and modelling;
  • Operating modes: normal, warm-up and cool down, operating envelopes, load following;
  • Main fault conditions accident types and limits – design issues and modelling;
  • Principles of loss of cooling accident modelling – description of TMI – design aims for avoidance and mitigation – active and passive protection;
  • Design optimisation – system architecture, pressure and temperature, vessel design and sizing, effect on equipment cost – small and medium-sized reactors.


  • Introduction to nuclear energys(2l)
  • Power cycles analysis(1l)
  • Core configurations choices(3l)
  • Core design(2l)
  • Reactor plant design & modelling(2l).
  • Health Physics(1l)
  • Safety & design – classes of accidents – reactivity, LOCA, etc(2l)
  • Reactor control & operations(1l)
  • Extreme Accidents(1l)


Please see the Booklist for Group I Courses for references for this module.

Examination Guidelines

Please refer to Form & conduct of the examinations.

Last modified: 03/07/2015 10:48