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ME 560 Nuclear Engineering

Catalog Description

ME 560 Nuclear Engineering (3). Prerequisite: ME 310 or consent of instructor. Introduction to nuclear power. Nuclear physics. Nuclear radiation. Reactor physics. Reactor kinetics and control. Fuel depletion. Energy removal. Studies of typical reactor types.

Prerequisites by Topic

  1. General physics
  2. Chemical reactions and energy levels
  3. Thermodynamics
  4. Differential equations


J.K. Shultis and R.E. Faw, Fundamentals of Nuclear Science and Engineering, CRC Press, 2nd edition, 2008.


J.R. Lamarsh and A.J. Baratta, Introduction to Nuclear Engineering, 3rd edition, Prentice-Hall, 2001.
W.M. Stacey, Nuclear Reactor Physics, John Wiley & Sons, 2001.


R.A. Mann, Professor of Mechanical Engineering.

Course Learning Outcomes

  1. To introduce students with an engineering background to the fundamentals of nuclear engineering.
  2. To examine various types of nuclear reactors.
  3. To introduce calculation methods for neutron transport and shielding.
  4. To calculate critical size and mass
  5. To introduce various applications of nuclear radiation.

Topics Covered

  1. Relativity and Quantum Concepts (4 classes) Radiation and its interaction with matter (6 classes)
  2. Fission, fusion, and power production fuel cycles (3 classes)
  3. Survey of nuclear reactors (3 classes)
  4. Nuclear diffusion and moderation (6 classes)
  5. Nuclear reactor theory (3 classes)
  6. Time dependent reactor processes (2 classes)
  7. Heat removal and thermodynamics (3 classes)
  8. Biological effects (2 classes)
  9. Shielding (3 classes)
  10. Licensing, safety, environmental considerations (1 class)
  11. Instrumentation (3 classes)
  12. Applications (3 classes)
  13. Tests, quizzes (3 classes)

Computer Use

May be needed for project; language optional.


Five quizzes 40%, two exams 60%.

Class Schedule

150 minutes per week devoted to lecture, discussion, and problem solving.

Curriculum Criterion Contribution

Engineering science: 3 credits.

Relationship to Program Outcomes

This course supports Mechanical Engineering Department B.Sc. program objectives by developing:

  • An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering in the field of mechanical engineering.
  • An ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs in the field of mechanical engineering.
  • An ability to identify, formulate and solve problems in the field of mechanical engineering.
  • An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern tools necessary for the practice of mechanical engineering.

Prepared by R.A. Mann, June 2009

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