Undergraduate Teaching 2019-20

Engineering Tripos Part IIB, 4I10: Nuclear Reactor Engineering, 2019-20

Engineering Tripos Part IIB, 4I10: Nuclear Reactor Engineering, 2019-20

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Dr E Shwageraus


Dr E Shwageraus

Timing and Structure

Michaelmas term. 16 lectures, 1 examples class & 5 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 energy, reactor power cycles (2l)
  • Core configurations choices (4l)
  • Reactivity control (2l)
  • Reactor plant design & modelling (2l).
  • Safety & design – classes of accidents – reactivity, LOCA, etc(4l)
  • Reactor control & operations (1l)
  • Severe 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: 28/05/2019 16:39