Introduction to Nuclear Reactor Physics
- Department of Nuclear Reactors
Lectures begin with description of fundamentals of microstructure of matter up to the level of electrons, protons, and neutrons. It is followed by description of nuclear reactions with special focus on interactions of neutrons with nuclei. The fission process initiated by neutrons is described in detail as it is the source of energy release in fission nuclear reactors. Students get acquainted with conditions for fission chain reaction realization, yield of fission products, and energy release in this reaction. The lectures are concluded by introduction to diffusion theory derived based on Fick's law. It is applied to calculation of distribution of neutrons in diffusive media. The neutrons can be released by neutron sources or as a result of fission reactions.
- Syllabus of lectures:
1. Nuclear and sub-nuclear physics
Time range: 1 lecture
Description of structure of nucleus, binding energy, and interactions of neutrons. Energy levels of nuclei, excited states. Determination of number density.
2. Neutron interactions
Time range: 4 lectures
List of possible reactions of neutrons with nuclei. Microscopic and macroscopic cross-sections definitions. Examples of dependence of cross-section for individual reactions on neutron energy for particular isotopes. Differences between fissile and fissionable heavy nuclides. Fission of heavy nuclides, fission yields, and energetic balance. Neutron flux definition.
3. Neutron diffusion and moderation
Time range: 5 lectures
Diffusion equation derivation based on Fick's law for diffusion of gases. Boundary conditions for diffusion equation solution. Calculation of neutron flux distribution. Diffusive medium
characterisation based on its properties.
4. Bare homogeneous reactors
Time range: 2 lectures
Definition of multiplication factor and reactivity in infinite and finite system with fissile material. Use of diffusion theory to calculation critical dimensions of bare reactors. Influence of
reflector and comparison with a bare reactor.
- Syllabus of tutorials:
- Study Objective:
Students are aware of nucleus structure, nature and types of nuclear reactions. They learn characteristics of diffusive media and fissile and fissionable materials. They get acquainted with stationary solution of neutron flux distribution, and reactor power.
After the subject completion, students are prepared to determine material composition (specifically to calculate atomic densities) important for all analysis conducted in reactor physics. They are also able to independently calculate spatial neutron flux distribution in simple geometries utilizing the diffusion equation. Students are also prepared to extend their knowledge to advanced tasks. This represents especially further methods for neutron flux calculation and calculation of kinetics of nuclear reactor power changes.
- Study materials:
John R. Lamarsh, Anthony J. Baratta, Introduction to Nuclear Engineering, Prentice Hall, New Jersey, 2001
Paul Reuss, Neutron Physics, EDP Sciences, Les Ulix Cedex A, Francie, 2008
James, J. Duderstadt, Louis J. Hamilton, Nuclear Reactor Analysis, John Wiley & Sons, USA, 1976
- Further information:
- No time-table has been prepared for this course
- The course is a part of the following study plans: