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Course Objective

To understand and model the thermal-hydraulic and mechanical phenomena key to the effective, reliable and safe design and operation of nuclear systems.

Course Summary

  1. Introduction to nuclear power systems
  2. Thermal-hydraulics:
    • Thermal parameters: definitions and uses
    • Sources and distribution of thermal loads in nuclear power reactors
    • Conservation equations and their applications to nuclear power systems: power conversion cycles, containment analysis
    • Thermal analysis of nuclear fuel
    • Single-phase flow and heat transfer
    • Two-phase flow and heat transfer
  3. Structural mechanics:
    • Fundamentals of structural mechanics
    • Applications to nuclear systems


Amazon logo Todreas, Neil E., and Mujid S. Kazimi. Nuclear Systems: Thermal Hydraulic Fundamentals. Vol. 1. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis Inc., December 1, 1989, 3rd printing. ISBN: 9781560320517.

MIT Notes on Structural Mechanics.

Related Courses


2.001, 2.005


22.05 (or 22.211), 22.06


Homework 20%
Quiz 1 20%
Quiz 2 20%
Final exam 40%

Homework and Reading Assignment Practices

  1. Units: You are to conform to recommended engineering practice by using units based on the International System (SI).
  2. In writing your answers it is important that you supply enough information to show how you have solved the problem. It is not necessary to repeat derivations already given in enough detail in the text or lectures.
  3. It is considered acceptable for you to work completely independently; consult the instructor; and/or work with other students. However, do not adopt your solution directly from any outside source without being sure that you understand both concepts and calculations. Points may be deducted if it appears that you do not understand.
  4. Computer usage: Some homework problems may be solved efficiently using MATLAB®, Mathcad® or other computer programs.
  5. Late solutions: Solutions submitted after the due date will receive no more than 50% credit. An all-student relaxation of this rule may be announced in class for some problems.

Recommended Citation

For any use or distribution of these materials, please cite as follows:

Jacopo Buongiorno, course materials for 22.312 Engineering of Nuclear Reactors, Fall 2007. MIT OpenCourseWare (, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Downloaded on [DD Month YYYY].


1 Course introduction and reactor types
2 Reactor heat generation

Thermal design principles

Conservation equations

4 Rankine power cycles
5 Brayton power cycles
6 Containment analysis
7 Containment analysis (cont.)
8 Thermal analysis of fuel elements (introduction)
9 Thermal analysis of fuel elements (temperature distributions)
10 Thermal analysis of fuel elements (maximum temperature in the core)
Quiz 1 (open book)
All material through Lec #7
11 Single phase thermal-hydraulics (introduction)
12 Single phase thermal-hydraulics (fluid dynamics)
13 Single phase thermal-hydraulics (heat transfer)
14 Single phase thermal-hydraulics (turbulence and loop analysis)
15 Two phase flow (basic parameters and models)
16 Two phase flow (pressure drop and instabilities)
17 Two phase flow (critical flow)
18 Two phase heat transfer (pool boiling)
Quiz 2 (take home)
All material from Lec #8-15
19 Two phase heat transfer (flow boiling)
20 Two phase heat transfer (boiling crises and post-boiling-crisis heat transfer)
21 Two phase heat transfer (condensation)
22 Two phase flow and heat transfer (demonstrations)
23 Structural mechanics (elasticity fundamentals and thin-shell theory)
24 Structural mechanics (stress categorization and ASME code)

Structural mechanics (creep, fatigue)

Course evaluation

Final – 3 hours open book
Final exam will cover entire course with specific attention to material of Lec #16-26