ENME 489T - Nuclear Reactor Design

3 Credits


Sanders, R. C.


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


ENME 430
MATH 246


ENME 489T presents the principles of nuclear reactor engineering as applied to reactor power plants.  This includes nuclear reactor system design (reactor types and functional requirements of reactor systems), nuclear reactor materials (fuels, moderators, coolants, cladding and structural materials), nuclear reactor thermalhydraulics, nuclear reactor shielding, nuclear reactor mechanical design (pressure vessels, piping, fuel), nuclear reactor safety analysis (types of accidents that must be considered during nuclear reactor design) and nuclear reactor accident consequence analysis (estimation of dose rates following a nuclear reactor accident). 


The major objective of ENME 489T is to have the student understand the fundamental concepts of nuclear reactor design in addition to the fundamental nuclear reactor physics concepts learned in ENME 430.  A student who successfully completes ENME 489T is able to demonstrate the ability to:
  • Understand the heat generation rate in a nuclear reactor, including the maximum allowable heat generation rate.
  • Understand the basic requirements for materials used in nuclear reactors, including fuel materials, coolant materials, moderator materials and structural materials.
  • Perform basic thermal-hydraulic calculations associated with the reactor core, including temperature distributions and required coolant flow rate.
  • Perform basic nuclear reactor shielding calculations.
  • Perform basic structural calculations for pressure vessels and piping used in nuclear reactors.
  • Perform basic radiation dose calculations for radioactive materials that are released from a nuclear reactor following an accident.


  • Nuclear heat generation including required coolant flow, temperature distributions and hot channel factors
  • Nuclear, chemical and mechanical requirements for nuclear reactor materials including fuel, moderator, coolant, cladding and structural materials
  • Mechanical requirements for pressure vessels including stress analysis and allowable stress intensity
  • Effects of radiation on nuclear reactor materials including creep and brittle fracture
  • Radiation shielding requirements including dose calculations
  • Nuclear reactor safety analysis including loss of coolant accidents and reactivity insertion accidents
  • Consequence analysis (dose rates) due to the release of radioactive materials following postulated nuclear reactor accidents

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 
R. C. Sanders, July 2017