22.05 Neutron Science and Reactor Physics

Fall 2006

MIT's nuclear reactor, a smooth white dome with two spires.
The MIT Nuclear Reactor Laboratory is a tank-type reactor. The fuel elements of uranium are positioned in a hexagonal core structure at the bottom of the core tank, while power is controlled by six shim blades and an automatic regulating rod. The pressure in the system is roughly atmospheric, and the maximum temperature approximately 120 degrees F. (Image courtesy of William McGee. Used with permission.)

Course Description

This course introduces fundamental properties of the neutron. It covers reactions induced by neutrons, nuclear fission, slowing down of neutrons in infinite media, diffusion theory, the few-group approximation, point kinetics, and fission-product poisoning. We emphasize the nuclear physics basis of reactor design and its relationship to reactor engineering problems.
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Prof. John Bernard

Course Meeting Times

Three sessions / week
1 hour / session

One session / week
2 hours / session