NEW MEXICO JUNIOR COLLEGE
Fundamentals of Nuclear Science
|A.||Course Title:||Fundamentals of Nuclear Science|
|B.||Course Number:||ENGT 223 - 10743|
|J.||Office Hours:|| Virtual Monday: 8:00:00 AM-8:00:00 PM (MST);
Virtual Tuesday: 8:00:00 AM-8:00:00 PM (MST);
Virtual Wednesday: 8:00:00 AM-8:00:00 PM (MST);
Virtual Thursday: 8:00:00 AM-8:00:00 PM (MST);
Virtual Friday: 8:00:00 AM-8:00:00 PM (MST);
Virtual Saturday: 8:00:00 AM-8:00:00 PM (MST);
(770) 973-3369 (H) Between 8AM to 8PM (Mountain Time); Anytime in an emergency.
|K.||Time Zone:||Mountain Time|
3 Credit Hours This course introduces students to fundamentals of nuclear science and nuclear physics and reactor theory. This course covers atomic physics, nuclear reactions, and detection of radiation.
This course will meet the requirements of the Energy Technology Degree at New Mexico Junior College; however, it is important to check with the institution to which you are planning to transfer to determine transferability. All students are encouraged to keep the course syllabus, as it will help determine the transferability of this course credit to another institution.
DOE FUNDAMENTALS HANDBOOK Classical Physics DOE-HDBK-1010-92[provided by the instructor in the Course Materials]
DOE FUNDAMENTALS HANDBOOK Nuclear Physics & Reactor Theory DOE-HDBK-1019/1-93 (Volumes 1&2)[provided by the instructor in the Course Materials]
Using LockDown Browser and a Webcam for Online Exams
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Harbrace Essentials with Resources Writing in Disciplines 2nd Edition by Cheryl Glenn & Loretta Gray (ISBN-10: 1285451813). This resource has been adopted by New Mexico Junior College as the common reference book for students to use for writing assignments in their courses. This book is available at the NMJC bookstore.
NOTE: Generally no books are available at the NMJC book store for the Energy Technology degree. If a text is required a link will be provided in the course syllabus. When DOE Handbooks or Modules are required they will be provided in the course.
You can buy your books online at the NMJC Bookstore.
Students attending New Mexico Junior College will be evaluated according to the following grading scale:
90 - 100% = A 80 - 89% = B 70 - 79% = C 60 - 69% = D 0 - 59% = F
This course is graded on a point system with the final grade based on a percentage of the total points of all exams/quizzes and written assignments.
Grading is based on a weighted system as outlined below:
9 Quizzes (820 points) [Weighted together as one grade] (20% of total grade)
6 Group Discussions (125 points) [Combined as one grade] (10% of total grade)
2 Written Papers (Written Discussion & Fukushima Paper) (100 points each)[Weighted together as one grade] (25% of total grade)
1 Written Report (100 points) (20% of total grade)
1 Final Exam (100 points) (25% of total grade)
Total: 1345 points
Response Time Frames:
The instructor will respond to student e-mail within 24 hours on week days and 48 hours on weekends.
Grades for written assignments will generally be posted within a week of the due date if due mid-term or the day before final grades are submitted for end-of-term assignments.
Retrieving Grades from T-BirdWeb Portal
Go to the New Mexico Junior College T-BirdWeb Portal login page. Please enter your User Identification Number (ID), which is your Banner ID, and your Personal Identification Number (PIN). When finished, click Login.
Tips for Success in Online Courses:
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2. Pay attention.
3. Take notes.
4. Keep up with readings and assignments.
5. Ask questions when you do not understand something.
6. Utilize your professor’s office hours and e-mail.
7. Read the text.
8. Adhere to the deadlines posted in the course outline.
New Mexico Junior College’s institutional student learning outcomes represent the knowledge and abilities developed by students attending New Mexico Junior College. Upon completion students should achieve the following learning outcomes along with specific curriculum outcomes for respective areas of study:
1. Accurately solve problems using foundational mathematics, physical sciences, and energy technology concepts.
2. Demonstrate an understanding of environmental safety in regards to energy industry processes and procedures.
3. Conduct, analyze, and/or interpret real world scenarios and case studies or laboratory experiments.
4. Demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills using specific energy technology terminology.
5. Demonstrate knowledge of energy systems and operations.
1. Demonstrate an understanding of the basics of classical and nuclear physics, energy use, nuclear power, and nuclear fuel cycles. (DSLO 5)
2. Analyze the cause of different nuclear reactions. (DSLO 3)
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Online Learning Environment
By participating in an online class, you undertake responsibility for your own progress and time management.
Offering the work of another as one’s own, without proper acknowledgment, is plagiarism; therefore, any student who fails to give credit for quotations or essentially identical expression of material taken from books, encyclopedias, magazines and other reference works, or from the themes, reports, or other writings of a fellow student, is guilty of plagiarism. Plagiarism violates the academic honesty policy and is considered cheating.
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Course Information Module
Module 0: Getting Started
MODULE 1: Unit Systems & Vectors, DOE FUNDAMENTALS HANDBOOK CLASSICAL PHYSICS, Modules 1 & 2
MODULE 1 TERMINAL OBJECTIVE
1.0 Given appropriate conversion tables, CONVERT between English and SI system units of measurement.
DEFINE the three fundamental dimensions: length, mass, and time.
LIST standard units of the fundamental dimensions for each of the following systems:
a. International System of Units (SI)
b. English System
1.3 DIFFERENTIATE between fundamental and derived measurements.
1.4 Given appropriate conversion tables, CONVERT between English and SI units of length.
1.5 Given appropriate conversion tables, CONVERT between English and SI units of mass.
1.6 CONVERT time measurements between the following:
Steps for Unit Conversion
MODULE 2 TERMINAL OBJECTIVE
Using vectors, DETERMINE the net force acting on an object.
1.1 DEFINE the following as they relate to vectors:
a. Scalar quantity
b. Vector quantity
c. Vector component
1.2 DETERMINE components of a vector from a resultant vector.
1.3 ADD vectors using the following methods:
b. Component addition
SCALAR AND VECTOR QUANTITIES
Description of a Simple Vector
Examples of Vector Quantities
In Written Materials
Graphic Representation of Vectors
VECTORS: RESULTANTS AND COMPONENTS
GRAPHIC METHOD OF VECTOR ADDITION
Methods Used to Add Vectors
Using the Graphic Method
COMPONENT ADDITION METHOD
An Explanation of Components
Using the Component Addition Method
ANALYTICAL METHOD OF VECTOR ADDITION
Review of Mathematical Functions
Using the Analytical Method
Group Discussion 1-1
Module 1 Quiz 1: Units (Dimensions & Conversions)
Group Discussion 1-2
Module 1 Quiz 2: Scalar & Vector Quantities
MODULE 2: Force and Motion & Application of Newton’s Laws DOE FUNDAMENTALS HANDBOOK CLASSICAL PHYSICS, Modules 3 & 4
MODULE 3 TERMINAL OBJECTIVE
1.0 APPLY Newton's laws of motion to a body.
1.1 STATE Newton's first law of motion.
1.2 STATE Newton's second law of motion.
1.3 STATE Newton's third law of motion.
1.4 STATE Newton's law of universal gravitation.
1.5 DEFINE momentum.
1.6 EXPLAIN the conservation of momentum.
1.7 Using the conservation of momentum, CALCULATE the velocity for an object
(or objects) following a collision of two objects.
NEWTON'S LAWS OF MOTION
Force and Momentum
Conservation of Momentum
MODULE 4 TERMINAL OBJECTIVE
From memory, APPLY the principles of force to stationary or moving bodies.
1.1 DEFINE the following:
1.2 STATE the purpose of a free-body diagram.
1.3 Given all necessary information, CONSTRUCT a free-body diagram.
1.4 STATE the conditions necessary for a body to be in force equilibrium.
1.5 DEFINE the following:
a. Net force
1.6 DEFINE the following:
a. Tensile force
b. Compressive force
c. Frictional force
1.7 EXPLAIN the difference between a static-friction force and a kinetic-friction force.
1.8 STATE two factors that affect the magnitude of the friction force.
1.9 EXPLAIN the difference between centripetal force and centrifugal force.
FORCE AND WEIGHT
Constructing a Free-Body Diagram
TYPES OF FORCE
Tensile and Compressive Forces
Group Discussion 2-1
Module 2 Quiz 1: Force & Motion
Group Discussion 2-2
Module 2 Quiz 2: Static & Dynamic Forces
MODULE 3: Energy, Work, & Power DOE FUNDAMENTALS HANDBOOK CLASSICAL PHYSICS, Module 5
MODULE 5 TERMINAL OBJECTIVE
1.0 Given necessary information about a system, CALCULATE the work performed and/or power produced or used by that system.
1.1 DEFINE the following terms:
b. Potential energy
c. Kinetic energy
1.2 STATE the mathematical expression for:
a. Potential energy
b. Kinetic energy
1.3 For a mechanical system, CALCULATE energy, work, and power.
1.4 STATE the First Law of Thermodynamics, "Conservation of Energy."
ENERGY AND WORK
LAW OF CONSERVATION OF ENERGY
Conservation of Energy
Group Discussion 3
Module 3 Quiz: Energy & Work
WRITTEN DISCUSSION 1 DUE
MODULE 4: Atomic & Nuclear Physics DOE FUNDAMENTALS HANDBOOK NUCLEAR PHYSICS AND REACTOR THEORY, VOLUME 1 OF 2, Module 1
MODULE 1 TERMINAL OBJECTIVE
Given sufficient information, DESCRIBE atoms, including components, structure,
1.1 STATE the characteristics of the following atomic particles, including mass, charge, and location within the atom:
1.2 DESCRIBE the Bohr model of an atom.
1.3 DEFINE the following terms:
c. Atomic number
d. Mass number
1.4 Given the standard (_Z^A)X notation for a particular nuclide, DETERMINE the following:
a. Number of protons
b. Number of neutrons
c. Number of electrons
1.5 DESCRIBE the three forces that act on particles within the nucleus and affect the stability of the nucleus.
1.6 DEFINE the following terms:
a. Enriched uranium
b. Depleted uranium
1.7 DEFINE the following terms:
a. Mass defect
b. Binding energy
1.8 Given the atomic mass for a nuclide and the atomic masses of a neutron, proton, and
electron, CALCULATE the mass defect and binding energy of the nuclide.
ATOMIC NATURE OF MATTER
Structure of Matter
Bohr Model of the Atom
Measuring Units on the Atomic Scale
Atomic and Nuclear Radii
CHART OF THE NUCLIDES
Chart of the Nuclides
Information for Stable Nuclides
Information for Unstable Nuclides
Neutron - Proton Ratios
Natural Abundance of Isotopes
Enriched and Depleted Uranium
MASS DEFECT AND BINDING ENERGY
Energy Levels of Atoms
Energy Levels of the Nucleus
Given necessary references, DESCRIBE the various modes of radioactive decay.
2.1 DESCRIBE the following processes:
a. Alpha decay
b. Beta-minus decay
c. Beta-plus decay
d. Electron capture
e. Internal conversions
f. Isomeric transitions
2.2 Given a Chart of the Nuclides, WRITE the radioactive decay chain for a nuclide.
2.3 EXPLAIN why one or more gamma rays typically accompany particle emission.
2.4 Given the stability curve on the Chart of the Nuclides, DETERMINE the type of
radioactive decay that the nuclides in each region of the chart will typically undergo.
2.5 DEFINE the following terms:
d. Radioactive decay constant
e. Radioactive half-life
2.6 Given the number of atoms and either the half-life or decay constant of a nuclide,
CALCULATE the activity.
2.7 Given the initial activity and the decay constant of a nuclide, CALCULATE the activity at any later time.
2.8 CONVERT between the half-life and decay constant for a nuclide.
2.9 Given the Chart of the Nuclides and the original activity, PLOT the radioactive decay
curve for a nuclide on either linear or semi-log coordinates.
2.10 DEFINE the following terms:
a. Radioactive equilibrium
b. Transient radioactive equilibrium
MODES OF RADIOACTIVE DECAY
Stability of Nuclei
Alpha Decay (α)
Beta Decay (β)
Electron Capture (EC, K-capture)
Gamma Emission (γ)
Isomers and Isomeric Transition
Predicting Type of Decay
Radioactive Decay Rates
Units of Measurement for Radioactivity
Variation of Radioactivity Over Time
Plotting Radioactive Decay
Transient Radioactive Equilibrium
3.0 Without references, DESCRIBE the different nuclear interactions initiated by neutrons.
3.1 DESCRIBE the following scattering interactions between a neutron and a nucleus:
a. Elastic scattering
b. Inelastic scattering
3.2 STATE the conservation laws that apply to an elastic collision between a neutron and a nucleus.
3.3 DESCRIBE the following reactions where a neutron is absorbed in a nucleus:
a. Radiative capture
b. Particle ejection
4.0 Without references, DESCRIBE the fission process.
4.1 EXPLAIN the fission process using the liquid drop model of a nucleus.
4.2 DEFINE the following terms:
a. Excitation energy
b. Critical energy
4.3 DEFINE the following terms:
a. Fissile material
b. Fissionable material
c. Fertile material
4.4 DESCRIBE the processes of transmutation, conversion, and breeding.
4.5 DESCRIBE the curve of Binding Energy per Nucleon versus mass number and give a
qualitative description of the reasons for its shape.
4.6 EXPLAIN why only the heaviest nuclei are easily fissioned.
4.7 EXPLAIN why uranium-235 fissions with thermal neutrons and uranium-238 fissions only with fast neutrons.
4.8 CHARACTERIZE the fission products in terms of mass groupings and radioactivity.
4.9 Given the nuclides involved and their masses, CALCULATE the energy released from fission.
4.10 Given the curve of Binding Energy per Nucleon versus mass number, CALCULATE the energy released from fission.
Liquid Drop Model of a Nucleus
Binding Energy Per Nucleon (BE/A)
ENERGY RELEASE FROM FISSION
Calculation of Fission Energy
Estimation of Decay Energy
Distribution of Fission Energy
5.0 Without references, DESCRIBE how the various types of radiation interact with matter.
5.1 DESCRIBE interactions of the following with matter:
a. Alpha particle
b. Beta particle
5.2 DESCRIBE the following ways that gamma radiation interacts with matter:
a. Compton scattering
b. Photoelectric effect
c. Pair production
INTERACTION OF RADIATION WITH MATTER
Interaction of Radiation with Matter
Beta Minus Radiation
Group Discussion 4
Module 4 Quiz: Atomic & Nuclear Physics
MODULE 5: Reactor Theory (Neutron Characteristics) DOE FUNDAMENTALS HANDBOOK NUCLEAR PHYSICS AND REACTOR THEORY, VOLUME 1 OF 2, Module 2
MODULE 2 TERMINAL OBJECTIVE
Without references, EXPLAIN how neutron sources produce neutrons.
1.1 DEFINE the following terms:
a. Intrinsic neutron source
b. Installed neutron source
1.2 LIST three examples of reactions that produce neutrons in intrinsic neutron sources.
1.3 LIST three examples of reactions that produce neutrons in installed neutron sources.
Intrinsic Neutron Sources
Installed Neutron Sources
2.0 Given the necessary information for calculations, EXPLAIN basic concepts in reactor
physics and perform calculations.
2.1 DEFINE the following terms:
a. Atom density
b. Neutron flux
c. Microscopic cross section
e. Macroscopic cross section
f. Mean free path
2.2 EXPRESS macroscopic cross section in terms of microscopic cross section.
2.3 DESCRIBE how the absorption cross section of typical nuclides varies with neutron
energy at energies below the resonance absorption region.
2.4 DESCRIBE the cause of resonance absorption in terms of nuclear energy levels.
2.5 DESCRIBE the energy dependence of resonance absorption peaks for typical light and heavy nuclei.
2.6 EXPRESS mean free path in terms of macroscopic cross section.
2.7 Given the number densities (or total density and component fractions) and microscopic cross sections of components, CALCULATE the macroscopic cross section for a mixture.
2.8 CALCULATE a macroscopic cross section given a material density, atomic mass, and
microscopic cross section.
2.9 EXPLAIN neutron shadowing or self-shielding.
2.10 Given the neutron flux and macroscopic cross section, CALCULATE the reaction rate.
2.11 DESCRIBE the relationship between neutron flux and reactor power.
2.12 DEFINE the following concepts:
c. Moderating ratio
d. Average logarithmic energy decrement
e. Macroscopic slowing down power
2.13 LIST three desirable characteristics of a moderator.
2.14 Given an average fractional energy loss per collision, CALCULATE the energy loss after a specified number of collisions.
NUCLEAR CROSS SECTIONS AND NEUTRON FLUX
Mean Free Path
Calculation of Macroscopic Cross Section and Mean Free Path
Effects of Temperature on Cross Section
Reactor Power Calculation
Relationship Between Neutron Flux and Reactor Power
Neutron Slowing Down and Thermalization
Macroscopic Slowing Down Power
3.0 Without references, EXPLAIN the production process and effects on fission of prompt and delayed neutrons.
3.1 STATE the origin of prompt neutrons and delayed neutrons.
3.2 STATE the approximate fraction of neutrons that are born as delayed neutrons from the fission of the following nuclear fuels:
3.3 EXPLAIN the mechanism for production of delayed neutrons.
3.4 EXPLAIN prompt and delayed neutron generation times.
3.5 Given prompt and delayed neutron generation times and delayed neutron fraction,
CALCULATE the average generation time.
3.6 EXPLAIN the effect of delayed neutrons on reactor control.
PROMPT AND DELAYED NEUTRONS
Neutron Generation Time
4.0 Without references, DESCRIBE the neutron energy spectrum for the type of reactor
presented in this module.
4.1 STATE the average energy at which prompt neutrons are produced.
4.2 DESCRIBE the neutron energy spectrum in the following reactors:
a. Fast reactor
b. Thermal reactor
4.3 EXPLAIN the reason for the particular shape of the fast, intermediate, and slow energy regions of the neutron flux spectrum for a thermal reactor.
NEUTRON FLUX SPECTRUM
Prompt Neutron Energies
Thermal and Fast Breeder Reactor Neutron Spectra
Most Probable Neutron Velocities
Module 5 Quiz: Neutron Characteristics
MODULE 6: Reactor Theory (Nuclear Parameters) DOE FUNDAMENTALS HANDBOOK NUCLEAR PHYSICS AND REACTOR THEORY, VOLUME 2 OF 2, Module 3
MODULE 3 TERMINAL OBJECTIVE
1.0 Using appropriate references, DESCRIBE the neutron life cycle discussed in this
1.1 DEFINE the following terms:
a. Infinite multiplication factor, k
b. Effective multiplication factor, keff
1.2 DEFINE each term in the six factor formula using the ratio of the number of neutrons
present at different points in the neutron life cycle.
1.3 Given the macroscopic cross sections for various materials, CALCULATE the thermal utilization factor.
1.4 Given microscopic cross sections for absorption and fission, atom density, and ,
CALCULATE the reproduction factor.
1.5 Given the numbers of neutrons present at the start of a generation and values for each
factor in the six factor formula, CALCULATE the number of neutrons that will be
present at any point in the life cycle.
1.6 LIST physical changes in the reactor core that will have an effect on the thermal
utilization factor, reproduction factor, or resonance escape probability.
1.7 EXPLAIN the effect that temperature changes will have on the following factors:
a. Thermal utilization factor
b. Resonance escape probability
c. Fast non-leakage probability
d. Thermal non-leakage probability
1.8 Given the number of neutrons in a reactor core and the effective multiplication factor,
CALCULATE the number of neutrons present after any number of generations.
1.9 DEFINE the term reactivity.
1.10 CONVERT between reactivity and the associated value of keff.
1.11 CONVERT measures of reactivity between the following units:
c. 10-4 k/k
d. Percent millirho (pcm)
1.12 EXPLAIN the relationship between reactivity coefficients and reactivity defects.
NEUTRON LIFE CYCLE
Infinite Multiplication Factor, k∞
Four Factor Formula
Fast Fission Factor, (ε)
Resonance Escape Probability, (p)
Thermal Utilization Factor, (f)
Reproduction Factor, (η)
Effective Multiplication Factor
Fast Non-Leakage Probability (ℒf)
Thermal Non-Leakage Probability (ℒt)
Six Factor Formula
Neutron Life Cycle of a Fast Reactor
Application of the Effective Multiplication Factor
Units of Reactivity
Reactivity Coefficients and Reactivity Defects
2.0 From memory, EXPLAIN how reactivity varies with the thermodynamic properties of
the moderator and the fuel.
2.1 EXPLAIN the conditions of over moderation and under moderation.
2.2 EXPLAIN why many reactors are designed to be operated in an under moderated
2.3 STATE the effect that a change in moderator temperature will have on the moderator to fuel ratio.
2.4 DEFINE the temperature coefficient of reactivity.
2.5 EXPLAIN why a negative temperature coefficient of reactivity is desirable.
2.6 EXPLAIN why the fuel temperature coefficient is more effective than the moderator
temperature coefficient in terminating a rapid power rise.
2.7 EXPLAIN the concept of Doppler broadening of resonance absorption peaks.
2.8 LIST two nuclides that are present in some types of reactor fuel assemblies that have
significant resonance absorption peaks.
2.9 DEFINE the pressure coefficient of reactivity.
2.10 EXPLAIN why the pressure coefficient of reactivity is usually negligible in a reactor
cooled and moderated by a subcooled liquid.
2.11 DEFINE the void coefficient of reactivity.
2.12 IDENTIFY the moderator conditions under which the void coefficient of reactivity
Moderator Temperature Coefficient
Fuel Temperature Coefficient
3.0 Without references, DESCRIBE the use of neutron poisons.
3.1 DEFINE the following terms:
a. Burnable poison
b. Non-burnable poison
c. Chemical shim
3.2 EXPLAIN the use of burnable neutron poisons in a reactor core.
3.3 LIST the advantages and disadvantages of chemical shim over fixed burnable poisons.
3.4 STATE two reasons why fixed non-burnable neutron poisons are used in reactor cores.
3.5 STATE an example of a material used as a fixed non-burnable neutron poison.
Fixed Burnable Poisons
4.0 Without references, DESCRIBE the effects of fission product poisons on a reactor.
4.1 LIST two methods of production and two methods of removal for xenon-135 during
4.2 STATE the equation for equilibrium xenon-135 concentration.
4.3 DESCRIBE how equilibrium xenon-135 concentration varies with reactor power level.
4.4 DESCRIBE the causes and effects of a xenon oscillation.
4.5 DESCRIBE how xenon-135 concentration changes following a reactor shutdown from steady-state conditions.
4.6 EXPLAIN the effect that pre-shutdown power levels have on the xenon-135
concentration after shutdown.
4.7 STATE the approximate time following a reactor shutdown at which the reactor can be considered "xenon free."
4.8 EXPLAIN what is meant by the following terms:
a. Xenon precluded startup
b. Xenon dead time
4.9 DESCRIBE how xenon-135 concentration changes following an increase or a decrease in the power level of a reactor.
4.10 DESCRIBE how samarium-149 is produced and removed from the reactor core during reactor operation.
4.11 STATE the equation for equilibrium samarium-149 concentration.
4.12 DESCRIBE how equilibrium samarium-149 concentration varies with reactor power
4.13 DESCRIBE how samarium-149 concentration changes following a reactor
shutdown from steady-state conditions.
4.14 DESCRIBE how samarium-149 concentration changes following a reactor startup.
4.15 STATE the conditions under which helium-3 will have a significant effect on the
reactivity of a reactor.
Fission Product Poisons
Production and Removal of Xenon-135
Xenon-135 Response to Reactor Shutdown
Xenon-135 Response to Reactor Power Changes
SAMARIUM AND OTHER FISSION PRODUCT POISONS
Production and Removal of Samarium-149
Samarium-149 Response to Reactor Shutdown
Other Neutron Poisons
5.0 Without references, DESCRIBE how control rods affect the reactor core.
5.1 DESCRIBE the difference between a "grey" neutron absorbing material and a "black"
neutron absorbing material.
5.2 EXPLAIN why a "grey" neutron absorbing material may be preferable to a "black"
neutron absorbing material for use in control rods.
5.3 EXPLAIN why resonance absorbers are sometimes preferred over thermal absorbers as a control rod material.
5.4 DEFINE the following terms:
a. Integral control rod worth
b. Differential control rod worth
5.5 DESCRIBE the shape of a typical differential control rod worth curve and explain the
reason for the shape.
5.6 DESCRIBE the shape of a typical integral control rod worth curve and explain the reason for the shape.
5.7 Given an integral or differential control rod worth curve, CALCULATE the reactivity
change due to a control rod movement between two positions.
5.8 Given differential control rod worth data, PLOT differential and integral control rod
Selection of Control Rod Materials
Types of Control Rods
Control Rod Effectiveness
Integral and Differential Control Rod Worth
Rod Control Mechanisms
Module 6 Quiz: Neutron Life Cycle
MODULE 7: Reactor Theory (Reactor Operations) DOE FUNDAMENTALS HANDBOOK NUCLEAR PHYSICS AND REACTOR THEORY, VOLUME 2 OF 2, Module 4
MODULE 4 TERMINAL OBJECTIVE
1.0 Given the necessary information and equations, EXPLAIN how subcritical multiplication occurs.
1.1 DEFINE the following terms:
a. Subcritical multiplication
b. Subcritical multiplication factor
1.2 Given a neutron source strength and a subcritical system of known keff, CALCULATE
the steady-state neutron level.
1.3 Given an initial count rate and keff, CALCULATE the final count rate that will result
from the addition of a known amount of reactivity.
1.4 Given count rates vs. the parameter being adjusted, ESTIMATE the value of the
parameter at which the reactor will become critical through the use of a 1/M plot.
Subcritical Multiplication Factor
Effect of Reactivity Changes on Subcritical Multiplication
Use of 1/M Plots
2.0 Given the necessary information and equations, DESCRIBE how power changes in a
reactor that is near criticality.
2.1 DEFINE the following terms:
a. Reactor period
b. Doubling time
c. Reactor startup rate
2.2 DESCRIBE the relationship between the delayed neutron fraction, average delayed
neutron fraction, and effective delayed neutron fraction.
2.3 WRITE the period equation and IDENTIFY each symbol.
2.4 Given the reactivity of the core and values for the effective average delayed neutron
fraction and decay constant, CALCULATE the reactor period and the startup rate.
2.5 Given the initial power level and either the doubling or halving time, CALCULATE the power at any later time.
2.6 Given the initial power level and the reactor period, CALCULATE the power at any
2.7 EXPLAIN what is meant by the terms prompt drop and prompt jump.
2.8 DEFINE the term prompt critical.
2.9 DESCRIBE reactor behavior during the prompt critical condition.
2.10 EXPLAIN the use of measuring reactivity in units of dollars.
Reactor Period (τ)
Effective Delayed Neutron Fraction
Effective Delayed Neutron Precursor Decay Constant
Stable Period Equation
Reactor Startup Rate (SUR)
3.0 Without references, EXPLAIN the concepts concerning reactor startup, operation, and
3.1 EXPLAIN why a startup neutron source may be required for a reactor.
3.2 LIST four variables typically involved in a reactivity balance.
3.3 EXPLAIN how a reactivity balance may be used to predict the conditions under which the reactor will become critical.
3.4 LIST three methods used to shape or flatten the core power distribution.
3.5 DESCRIBE the concept of power tilt.
3.6 DEFINE the term shutdown margin.
3.7 EXPLAIN the rationale behind the one stuck rod criterion.
3.8 IDENTIFY five changes that will occur during and after a reactor shutdown that will
affect the reactivity of the core.
3.9 EXPLAIN why decay heat is present following reactor operation.
3.10 LIST three variables that will affect the amount of decay heat present following reactor shutdown.
3.11 ESTIMATE the approximate amount of decay heat that will exist one hour after a
shutdown from steady state conditions.
Estimated Critical Position
Core Power Distribution
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