Introduction to Nuclear Reactor Design

Lead Instructor: Brendan Vaughan 

TAs: Bethany

TimeJan 17-21, 18:00-20:00

Location: TBD


Course Description:


Day 1: Intro to basic reactor concepts

  • Neutron particle interactions

  • Nuclear Fission of Uranium/Plutonium

  • Criticality and feedback effects

    • Moderation

    • Temperature feedback

    • Accident scenarios

      • Design for the worst

      • Fail in a ‘safe’ way

Day 2: PWRs, BWRs, and CANDUs

  • Most widespread type of reactors around the world

    • Original design process was sometimes trial and error

    • Chosen for versatility

  • Thermal neutron spectrum

  • Use water or heavy water as the primary moderator and coolant

  • 2 famous accidents (Three Mile Island & Fukushima) 

Day 3: Gen IV Reactor Designs:

  • Some of the configurations have been used before while others are completely new or have only existed as test reactors

  • Mix of thermal and fast neutron spectrums

  • Wide variety of coolants

  • Advanced fuel designs

    • TRISO fuel particles

    • Prismatic block based designs

  • Many pros and cons when compared to traditional reactors

    • Designed with the intent to be safer, cheaper, and more efficient

  • Passive safety

Day 4: Modular Reactor, Advanced, and Future Designs

  • Designed to be more affordable

  • Breeder reactors

  • Thorium as a fuel source

Day 5: Modular Reactor, Advanced, and Future Designs (continued)