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Unit information: Nuclear Materials Behaviour in 2020/21

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Nuclear Materials Behaviour
Unit code MENGM0015
Credit points 10
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Larrosa
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Mechanical Engineering
Faculty Faculty of Engineering


This unit covers the metallurgy and engineering structure-property relationships of reactor materials, focussing on structural and mechanical properties, and key life-limiting degradation mechanisms, such as creep-fatigue, corrosion, and radiation damage within reactor environments (e.g. PWR, AGR). Consequences on nuclear decommissioning will also be discussed.

Intended learning outcomes

Students will be able to:

  1. List the material requirements for different components of a nuclear power plant.
  2. Contrast the metallurgy of different nuclear reactor materials.
  3. Explain the structure-property relationships of nuclear reactor materials.
  4. Identify material degradation mechanisms within reactor environments.
  5. Appraise the behaviour of new reactor materials.
  6. Propose appropriate nuclear decommissioning strategies for different components.

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

  • An Introduction to Nuclear Materials: Fundamentals and Applications, K. Linga Murty and Indrajit Charit, Wiley VCH (2012).
  • Materials for Nuclear Plants: From Safe Design to Residual Life Assessments, Wolfgang Hoffelner, Springer (2012).
  • Understanding and Mitigating Ageing in Nuclear Power Plants: Materials and Operational Aspects of Plant Life Management, Philip G. Tipping, Woodhead Publishing, Ltd. (2010).