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These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Nuclear Engineering (NUC E)

NUC E 409 (MATSE 409) Nuclear Materials (3) Nuclear reactor materials: relationship between changes in material properties and microstructural evolution of nuclear cladding and fuel under irradiation.

NUC E (MATSE) 409 Nuclear Materials (3)

NUC E/MATSE 409 provides a background on the types of materials used in nuclear reactors and their response to neutron irradiation. Most of the materials problems encountered in the operation of nuclear power reactors for energy production are discussed here. The objective of the course is to give nuclear engineering students a background in materials, so they understand the limitations put on reactor operations and reactor design by materials performance. In the first part of the course, we review basic concepts of physical metallurgy, to develop a mechanistic and microstructurally based view of material properties. In the second part of the course, we present the methods to calculate displacement damage to the material produced by exposure to neutron irradiation. The microstructural evolution that results from the reactor exposure (including radiation damage and defect cluster evolution, and changes) is described. The aim is to create a linkage between these changes at the atomistic level and the changes in macroscopic behavior of the material. Special attention is given to property changes that affect fuel performance and operational safety. Both mathematical methods and experimental techniques are emphasized so that theoretical modeling is instructed by experimental data. Students use the TRIM and SPECTER codes to quantitatively evaluate neutron damage, as well as learn simple analytical models that describe microstructural evolution and property changes under irradiation.

General Education: None
Diversity: None
Bachelor of Arts: None
Effective: Spring 2003
Prerequisite: PHYS 214

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.

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