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Unit information: Nuclear Reactor Engineering in 2020/21

Unit name Nuclear Reactor Engineering
Unit code MENGM0037
Credit points 10
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Mostafavi
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Mechanical Engineering
Faculty Faculty of Engineering


This unit provides a background to common, present and future nuclear reactor designs including materials specifications and fabrication processes. Students will also gain an understanding of methods of structural integrity assessment including assessment codes such as R5 and R6, and an appreciation of nuclear safety cases, including aspects such as plant monitoring.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of the unit students will be able to:

  1. Recall the historical development of nuclear power.
  2. Describe common reactor designs and material use.
  3. Compare and contrast different reactor types.
  4. Appraise the capabilities and limitations of the main production processing and fabrication routes used in nuclear plant build.
  5. Restate the principles of nuclear plant protection and safety systems.
  6. Construct safety cases for nuclear reactor faults and structural integrity failures.

Teaching details

The unit will be delivered through materials including videos and narrated lectures which will be made available to students online. 

Assessment Details

The unit will be assessed using a single examination. Feedback will be provided to students during the year. 

Reading and References

  • Introduction to Nuclear Power, G.F. Hewitt and J.G. Collier, CRC Press; 2nd edition (2000).
  • Nuclear Reactor Design, Takashi Kiguchi and Yoshiaki Oka, Springer (2014).
  • Nuclear Reactor Engineering: Reactor Design Basics, Samuel Glasstone and Alexander Sesonske, Springer; 4th edition (1994).
  • Nuclear Renaissance: Technologies and Policies for the Future of Nuclear Power, William J. Nuttall, CRC Press (2004).