ENME 430 - Fundamentals of Nuclear Reactor Engineering

3 Credits


R. C. Sanders


Introduction to Nuclear Engineering 3rd Edition,
John R. Lamarsh and Anthony J. Baratta
Prentice Hall 2001


MATH 246


Fundamental aspects of nuclear physics and nuclear engineering, including nuclear interactions; various types of radiation and their effects on materials and humans; and basic reactor physics topics, including simplified theory of reactor critically.


ENME 430 presents the principles of nuclear reactor engineering as applied to reactor cores. This includes topics in basic nuclear physics, neutron interactions, nuclear fission, neutron diffusion and moderation, continuity, criticality of steady state systems, time dependent reactor behavior, and heat generation and removal from reactor cores. The major objective of ENME 430 is to have the student understand the fundamental concepts of reactor engineering as applied to steady state and time dependent reactor systems. A student who successfully completes ENME 430 is able to demonstrate the ability to:

  1. Understand the basics of the structure of an atom and nucleus, radioactivity, nuclear reactions, neutron cross sections, nuclear fission.
  2. Understand how neutrons interact with matter.
  3. Understand the fundamentals of neutron diffusion and moderation, including neutron flux, continuity, the diffusion equation and its solutions, thermal neutron diffusion, and multigroup diffusion.
  4. Understand the fundamentals of nuclear reactor theory (steady state and time dependent), including the one-group reactor equation and its solutions, one-group critical equation, thermal and reflected reactors, homogeneous and heterogeneous systems.
  5. Understand the basics of heat generation and removal from reactor cores


  • Fundamental concepts
  • Radiation interactions
  • Neutron diffusion and moderation
  • Nuclear reactor theory  
  • Time dependent reactor behavior  
  • Nuclear reactor heat generation and removal  

Learning Outcomes 

  • an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering
  • an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems
  • an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice

Class/Laboratory Schedule 

  • Two 75 minute lectures per week

Last Updated By 
Robert Sanders, June 2017