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Syllabus for

Academic year
FRE011 - Reactor physics
Owner: TTFYA
5,0 Credits (ECTS 7,5)
Grading: TH - Five, Four, Three, Not passed
Level: C
Department: 16 - PHYSICS

Teaching language: English
Minimum participants: 3
Maximum participants: 35

Course module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 No Sp
0102 Oral examination 5,0 c Grading: TH   5,0 c    

In programs



Professor  Imre Pázsit


For single subject courses within Chalmers programmes the same eligibility requirements apply, as to the programme(s) that the course is part of.

Course specific prerequisites

Basic courses in physics and mathematics


The subject of reactor physics is to clarify the principle of operation of a nuclear reactor. The starting point is the interaction of neutrons with matter. The main task is to determine the spatial distribution and temporal evolution of neutrons of different energy. This is studied with the help of the diffusion and transport equations.

The aim of the course is to explain the mathematical methods that are necessary for reactor physics calculations. By treating some basis cases, it gives insight into the design, operation and characteristics of multiplying nuclear systems. The course also covers the construction principles of existing and future reactor types, including the so-called accelerator driven systems.


Neutron reactions, cross section. The fission process, prompt and delayed fission neutrons. The neutron cycle in a reactor. The slowing down and diffusion of neutrons. Criticality and buckling. The effect of a reflector. One- and two-group theory. The multiplication constant in homogeneous and inhomogeneous reactors. Reactor kinetics. Temperature effects, "poisoning", conversion, burn-up. Overview of current and planned future reactor types, including accelerator driven reactors.


Lectures 6 hrs/week. The language is English; however, if all students speak Swedish, it can be given in Swedish.

Calculational exercises: problem solving from a collection of exercises, 2 hrs/week.

Demonstration of the core calculational codes CASMO and SIMULATE, which are used to load commercial power reactors (4 hrs).

4 laborationer at Studsvik, during 2 full days (a trip with 2 stays overnight in Nyköping is necessary, cost 250 SEK)

Two exercises need to be solved as homework and submitted in writing.

Written reports need to be made after each laboratory exercise.


Swedish lecture notes, published at
the Department.

Equivalent English books:

Knief: Nuclear Engineering: Theory and Technology of Nuclear Power

Glasstone and Sesonske: Nuclear Reactor Engineering

Lamarsh: Introduction to Nuclear Reactor Theory

A collection of calculational exercises is distributed at the problem solving sessions.


Oral examination. If several (at least three) students would prefer written examination, this
is also possible to arrange. Irrespective of a possible written exam,
all students who prefer the oral examination can choose this option.

Page manager Published: Mon 28 Nov 2016.