In this course, one acquires an understanding of the basic neutronics interactions occurring in a nuclear fission reactor as well as the conditions for establishing and controlling a nuclear chain reaction.
- Brief review of nuclear physics
- Historical: Constitution of the nucleus and discovery of the neutron
- Nuclear reactions and radioactivity
- Cross sections
- Differences between fusion and fission.
- Nuclear fission
- Characteristics - Nuclear fuel - Introductory elements of neutronics.
- Fissile and fertile materials.
- Element of reactor design
- flux and heat source distribution; properties of different coolants and technological consequences
- LWR reactors technology
- overview of the functional scheme of PWR and BWRs; fuel elements; compensation of excess reactivity in PWRs and BWRs (boron, etc,)
- Neutron diffusion and slowing down
- Monoenergetic neutrons - Angular and scalar flux
- Diffusion theory as simplified case of transport theory - Neutron slowing down through elastic scattering.
- Multiplying media (reactors)
- Multiplication factors - Criticality condition in simple cases.
- Thermal reactors - Neutron spectra - Multizone reactors - Multigroup theory and general criticality condition - Heterogeneous reactors.
- Reactor kinetics
- Point reactor model: prompt and delayed transients - Practical applications.
- Reactivity variations and control
- Short, medium and long term reactivity changes. Different means of control.
- Advanced reactor designs
- Breeding and transmutation; introduction into Gen-IV reactors
By the end of the course, the student must be able to:
- Elaborate on neutron diffusion equation
- Formulate approximations to solving the diffusion equation for simple systems
- Classify nuclear reaction cross sections
- Develop for a nuclear reactor
- Access and evaluate appropriate sources of information.
- Collect data.
- Use both general and domain specific IT resources and tools
- Write a scientific or technical report.
Lectures, numerical exercises
oral exam (50%)
group project (50%)
In the programs
- Semester: Fall
- Exam form: Oral (winter session)
- Subject examined: Physics of nuclear reactors
- Lecture: 4 Hour(s) per week x 14 weeks
- Exercises: 2 Hour(s) per week x 14 weeks