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Apostolakis, George, Neil Todreas, Ronald Ballinger, and Andrew Kadak, 22.39 Integration of Reactor Design, Operations, and Safety, Fall 2006. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare), (Accessed 07 Jul, 2010). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

Integration of Reactor Design, Operations, and Safety

Fall 2006

Cutaway schematic drawing of the 'Gen Four' power plant design.

The "GEN IV" (Generation IV) design is a next generation nuclear power plant that produces electricity and hydrogen without greenhouse gas emissions. (Image courtesy of U.S. DOE.)

Course Highlights

This course features an extensive set of lecture slides, readings, and assignments.

Course Description

This course integrates studies of engineering sciences, reactor physics and safety assessment into nuclear power plant design. Topics include materials issues in plant design and operations, aspects of thermal design, fuel depletion and fission-product poisoning, and temperature effects on reactivity, safety considerations in regulations and operations, such as the evolution of the regulatory process, the concept of defense in depth, General Design Criteria, accident analysis, probabilistic risk assessment, and risk-informed regulations.

Technical Requirements

Special software is required to use some of the files in this course: .zip


This page includes a course calendar.


22.211, 22.312

Textbooks and Readings

There is no required textbook for the course. Readings will be assigned from various regulatory, industry, and scientific sources.


Students are required to complete nine homework problems and a midterm paper on national nuclear energy strategy.


Homework (Weighted, see below) 35%
National Nuclear Energy Strategy Paper 20%
Midterm Oral Exam 10%
Final Oral Exam 35%

Homework Weighting

The score of each homework problem will be adjusted in accordance with the following relative weighting:

1 20
2 60
3 15
4 25
5 40
6 25
7 10
8 50
9 20


1 Nuclear Energy System Strategies Prof. Todreas  
2 Design Goals and Interrelationship of Core Design Parameters Prof. Todreas  
3 Thermal Hydraulic Design Requirements - LWR Steady State and Transient Design Prof. Todreas Problem 1 due (topic of Lec #2)
4 Thermal Hydraulic in Safety Analysis Prof. Todreas  
5 Reactor Physics - Design Parameters for PWRs Prof. Apostolakis  
6 Design Requirements - Safety and Critical Safety Functions Prof. Apostolakis Problem 2 due (topic of Lec #3)
7 Reactor Safety: The Emergence of Probabilistic Risk Assessment Prof. Apostolakis  
8 Reactor Physics - Design Parameters for GFRs Chris Handwerk, Course TA Problem 3 due (topic of Lec #5)
9 PRA Methodology Overview Prof. Apostolakis Problem 4 due (topic of Lec #6 and #7)
10 Probabilistic Calculations - I Prof. Apostolakis  
11 Probabilistic Calculations - II Prof. Apostolakis Paper: U.S. National Nuclear Strategy (topic of Lec #1) due two days after Lec #11
12 Risk-Informed Changes to the Licensing Basis-I Prof. Apostolakis  
13 Applying Safety Regulations to Plant Operations Prof. Kadak Problem 5 due (topic of Lec #10 and 11)
14 Risk-Informed Changes to the Licensing Basis-II Prof. Apostolakis  
15 Large Break LOCA Analysis/Result Prof. Todreas  
16 The Maintenance Rule I Prof. Apostolakis  
17 The Maintenance Rule II  

Problem 6 due (topic of Lec #13)

18 Plant Economic Evaluation Prof. Todreas  
19 Plant Economic Evaluation (cont.) Prof. Todreas  
20 Materials Selection Process Prof. Ballinger Problem 7 due (topic of Lec #15)
21 Radiation Damage Effects and Their Design Implications Prof. Ballinger  
22 Environmental Degradation and its Design Implications Prof. Ballinger  
23 PWR Materials Applications Prof. Ballinger Problem 8 due (topic of Lec #18)
24 GFR Materials Applications Prof. Ballinger  
25 Risk Informed Design
Guidance for Gen IV Reactors
Prof. Apostolakis Problem 9 due (topic of Lec #21 and #22) two days after Lec #25
26 Integration of Design Process - IRIS as the Example Guest Lecturer: Bojan Petrovich, Westinghouse  
27 Integration of Design Process - 1: IRIS Plant, 2: Sample Oral Prof. Todreas/Prof. Apostolakis  
28 Student Oral Exams, 45 min. (Scheduled to Meet Individual Student Availability) Exam Committee   Tell A Friend