Nuclear reactor theory
Prof. Geert Van den Branden – KU Leuven
Prof. Matthias Vanderhaegen – Universiteit Gent
Prof. Peter Baeten – Vrije Universiteit Brussel
6 ECTS
^{90 hours study time}
 44 contact hours theory
 24 contact hours exercises/laboratory sessions/visits
 12 hours additional personal work (reading etc.)

 To understand the physical processes involved in a nuclear reactor
 To understand and be able to write down and solve the basic equations
 To be able to simulate a reactor/source configuration as appropriate depending on:
 number of dimensions;
 steady state or transient;
 number of groups;
 delayed neutron precursors;
 space dependent properties and grid spacing.
 To learn how to measure neutron distributions and parameters relevant for nuclear reactors, in particular reactivity and reactivity coefficients

 Interaction of Neutrons with Matter
 Nuclear Fission
 Nuclear ChainReacting Systems
 Physics of nuclear reactors
 Neutron transport equation
 Monoenergetic diffusion of Neutrons
 Neutron moderation
 Low energy neutrons
 Fermi theory
 Cell calculations
 Multiregion reactors: the group diffusion method
 Control Rods
 Point kinetic equations
 Reactor dynamics including reactivity effects
 Numerical Techniques used in reactor calculations & radiation protection
 Experimental reactor physics
Lab session with static and kinetic measurements at the BR1, Sigma pile and VENUS facility

The PowerPoint presentations of the lectures, and extensive lecture notes, are available on the BNEN website.
Other useful references:
 J.J. Duderstadt and L.J. Hamilton, “Nuclear Reactor Analysis”, 1976 (Wiley & Sons)
 Lamarsh, J.R., “Introduction to Nuclear Reactor Theory”, AddisonWesley, Reading, Mass., 1966
 Profio, A.E., Experimental Reactor Physics, J. Wiley, 1976
 P. Reuss, “Neutron physics”, 2008 (EDP Sciences)

 Introduction to nuclear physics
 Introduction to nuclear engineering

 First and second session: written examination, open book.
 The course contains three parts, each part is individually evaluated on the exam.
 The final mark will be calculated based on a weighted average on the three parts (weighting factor roughly 1/3, 1/3, 1/3). In case of a failure for one of the parts, the examination committee can decide to penalize this by lowering the overall course grade.
Laboratory sessions are compulsory and cannot be repeated in the second session. No report is required, but questions on the laboratory sessions might be included in the exam.