151-2011-00L  Physics of Nuclear Reactors (EPFL)

SemesterAutumn Semester 2023
Lecturersexternal organisers
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish
CommentNo enrolment to this course at ETH Zurich. Book the corresponding module directly at EPFL.


151-2011-00 GPhysics of Nuclear Reactors (EPFL)
**Course at EPFL**
6 hrsexternal organisers

Catalogue data

AbstractIn this course, one acquires an understanding of the basic neutronics interactions occurring in a nuclear fission reactor and, as such, the conditions for establishing and controlling a nuclear chain reaction.
ObjectiveBy the end of the course, the student must be able to:
- Elaborate on neutron diffusion equation
- Systematize nuclear reaction cross sections
- Formulate approximations to solving the diffusion equation for simple systems
- Brief review of nuclear physics
- Historical: Constitution of the nucleus and discovery of the neutron -
Nuclear reactions and radioactivity - Cross sections - Differences between
fusion and fission.
- Nuclear fission
- Characteristics - Nuclear fuel - Introductory elements of neutronics.
- Fissile and fertile materials - Breeding.
- Neutron diffusion and slowing down
- Monoenergetic neutrons - Angular and scalar flux
- Diffusion theory as simplified case of transport theory - Neutron slowing
down through elastic scattering.
- Multiplying media (reactors)
- Multiplication factors - Criticality condition in simple cases.
- Thermal reactors - Neutron spectra - Multizone reactors - Multigroup
theory and general criticality condition - Heterogeneous reactors.
- Reactor kinetics
- Point reactor model: prompt and delayed transients - Practical
- Reactivity variations and control
- Short, medium and long term reactivity changes ? Different means of
LiteratureDistributed documents, recommended book chapters
Prerequisites / NoticePrerequisite for: Reactor Experiments

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a semester course
ECTS credits6 credits
Typegraded semester performance
Language of examinationEnglish
RepetitionRepetition possible without re-enrolling for the course unit.
Additional information on mode of examinationRegistration modalities, date and venue of this performance assessment are specified solely by the EPFL.

Learning materials

No public learning materials available.
Only public learning materials are listed.


No information on groups available.


There are no additional restrictions for the registration.

Offered in

Nuclear Engineering Master1. Semester (EPFL)OInformation