Fundamentals of Nuclear Reactor Physics


  • Elmer Lewis, Ph.D., Northwestern University, Department Of Mechanical Engineering, Robert R. McCormick School of Eng. & Applied Science, Evanston, IL, USA
  • Elmer Lewis, Ph.D., Northwestern University, Department Of Mechanical Engineering, Robert R. McCormick School of Eng. & Applied Science, Evanston, IL, USA

This new streamlined text offers a one-semester treatment of the essentials of how the fission nuclear reactor works, the various approaches to the design of reactors, and their safe and efficient operation. The book includes numerous worked-out examples and end-of-chapter questions to help reinforce the knowledge presented. This textbook offers an engineering-oriented introduction to nuclear physics, with a particular focus on how those physics are put to work in the service of generating nuclear-based power, particularly the importance of neutron reactions and neutron behavior. Engineering students will find this applications-oriented approach, with many worked-out examples, more accessible and more meaningful as they aspire to become future nuclear engineers.
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Junior and Senior Undergraduate engineering students in mechanical, nuclear, and materials engineering , Junior and Senior Undergraduate students in physics, Graduate Students in other engineering disciplines in need of an introductory text, including those in Electrical engineering and Environmental and Health and Safety engineering, Professional Engineers in Mechanical, Nuclear and Materials Engineering, Managers and Technicians in the power-generation industries, Administrators charged with regulatory and safety issues affecting the nuclear power industry


Book information

  • Published: January 2008
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-370631-7

Table of Contents

1. Nuclear Reactions1.1 Introduction1.2 Nuclear Reaction Fundamentals1.3 The Curve of Binding Energy1.4 Fusion Reactions1.5 Fission Reactions1.6 Fissile and Fertile Materials1.7 Radioactive Decay2. Neutron Interactions2.1 Introduction2.2 Neutron Cross Sections2.3 Neutron Energy Range2.4 Cross Section Energy Dependence2.5 Neutron Scattering 3. Neutron Distributions in Energy3.1 Introduction3.2 Nuclear Fuel Properties3.3 Neutron Moderators3.4 Neutron Energy Spectra3.5 Energy-Averaged Reaction Rates3.6 Infinite Medium Multiplication: 4. The Power Reactor Core 4.1 Introduction4.2 Core Composition4.3 Fast Reactor Lattices4.4 Thermal Reactor Lattices 5. Reactor Kinetics5.1 Introduction5.2 Neutron Balance Equations5.3 Multiplying Systems Behavior5.4 Delayed Neutron Kinetics5.5 Step Reactivity Changes5.6 Prolog to Reactor Dynamics6. Spatial Diffusion of Neutrons6.1 Introduction6.2 The Neutron Diffusion Equation6.3 Non-multiplying Systems- Plane Geometry6.4 Boundary Conditions 6.5 Non-multiplying Systems- Spherical Geometry6.6 Diffusion Approximation Validity6.7 Multiplying Systems 7. Neutron Distributions in Reactors7.1 Introduction7.2 The Time-Independent Diffusion Equation7.3 Uniform Reactors7.4 Neutron Leakage7.5 Reflected Reactors7.6 Control Poisons8. Energy Transport8.1 Introduction8.2 Core Power Distribution8.3 Heat Transport8.4 Thermal Transients 9. Reactivity Feedback9.1 Introduction9.2 Reactivity Coefficients9.3 Composite Coefficients9.4 Excess Reactivity and Shutdown Margin9.5 Reactor Transients 10. Long Term Core Behavior10.1 Introduction10.2 Reactivity Control10.3 Fission Product Buildup and Decay10.4 Fuel Depletion10.5 Fission Product and Actinides InventoriesAppendicesA. Useful MathematicsB. Bessel’s Equation and FunctionsC. Derivation of Neutron Diffusion PropertiesD. Fuel Element Heat TransferE. Nuclear Data