Undergraduate Teaching 2017-18

Engineering Tripos Part IIB, 4I11: Advanced Fission and Fusion System, 2017-18

Engineering Tripos Part IIB, 4I11: Advanced Fission and Fusion System, 2017-18

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Module Leader

Dr E Shwageraus


Dr E Shwageraus, Mr A Roulstone

Timing and Structure

Lent term. 16 lectures, 4 examples papers, 2 examples classes in support of coursework. Assessment: 100% coursework




The aims of the course are to:

  • provide an understanding of advanced systems, why they are being pursued, what are their advantages and their difficulties in becoming commercially viable designs.


Further aims:

  • What are the factors that are driving the development of advanced systems?
  • Overview of fast reactor development & Gen IV reactor systems, including accelerator driven sub-critical reactors;
  • Introduce the principles of fusion energy physics and the current status of research;
  • Explain how the principles of fusion energy are to be applied for the design of future fusion energy systems;
  • Re-cycle fuel studies, including reprocessing and re-fabrication;
  • Status, issues and what would be needed to bring advanced reactor systems to a commercial standard with safety and economics as good as current Generation III+ designs

Fission Systems

  • Design objectives, drivers & alternatives (2l)
  • Advanced Thermal systems – example high temperature gas reactor(2l)
  • Fast Spectrum Reactor systems – including external Dr A Judd(4l)
  • Transmutation and Advanced Fuel cycles (2l)

Fusion Systems

Introduction & Physics of fusion systems - Dr C. Roach CCFE (2l)

  • Fusion reactions: cross sections and reactivity
  • Magnetic and inertial approaches to fusion
  • Equilibrium, transport, instabilities and power balance

Physics & Materials - Dr M. Fleming CCFE (2l)

  • Heating systems and current drive
  • Layout of a fusion power plant
  • Fusion reactor components and materials requirements

Performance Safety and Design Dr M. Fleming CCFE (2l)

  • Safety of a fusion
  • Radiological hazards and waste products
  • Fusion in the market and timescale to fusion
  • Designing a fusion power plant

Examples papers

- Thermal reactor systems (High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactors)

- Fast Reactors

- Fusion: plasma physics and reactor engineering


1. Fast reactor transient analysis using provided computer models. This part of coursework will be preceded by an examples class, where these models will be introduced and demonstrated.

2. Group project (3-4 students) researching into a particular advanced reactor design. This part will be assessed by a group presentation to the rest of the class. The presentations will be scheduled at a convenient time outside the normal lectures schedule.    

3. Problem set on advanced fission reactors, plasma physics and fusion technology.

Coursework Format

Due date

& marks

[Coursework activity #1 title / Interim]

Coursework 1 brief description

Learning objective:



Report / Presentation

[non] anonymously marked

day during term, ex:

Thu week 3


[Coursework activity #2 title / Final]

Coursework 2 brief description

Learning objective:


Individual Report

anonymously marked

  Wed week 9




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: 04/08/2017 15:55