Dec 09, 2022  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Academic Catalog 
2019-2020 Undergraduate Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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PH 354 - Nuclear Power, Applications and Safety

3 lecture hours 0 lab hours 3 credits
Course Description
This subject serves as an introduction to the physics of the use of nuclear power. It examines the nature of radioactivity and protection from it. It deals with the uses of radioactive isotopes in medicine and science. It examines the release, control and utilization of energy from fission and fusion reactions. (prereq: consent of Instructor or PH 2030 or PH 2031 )
Course Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  • Understand nuclear reactions and radiations; binding energy, nuclear stability, neutron reactions, radioactive isotopes
  • Explain interaction of radiation with matter
  • Understand the process of nuclear fission, fission energy, and critical mass
  • Understand the interaction of neutrons with matter and the cross-sections for neutron reactions
  • Understand the process of slowing down of neutrons in a non-multiplying medium
  • Understand the criticality condition for a steady state reactor and multiplication factors
  • State the basic differences between a homogeneous reactor and a heterogeneous reactor
  • Understand the different methods of control of a Nuclear reactor
  • Discuss the two different types of neutrons in a reactor; the prompt neutrons and the delayed neutrons. Discuss the effect of delayed neutrons in a reactor
  • Define reactivity and the units of reactivity. Also, explain the natural reactivity changes and the factors affecting reactivity
  • Explain temperature effects on reactivity and define the temperature coefficient of reactivity
  • Understand the general feature of nuclear reactors and discuss the different types of reactors
  • Compare and contrast between the process of fission and fusion
  • Understand the biological effects of radiation
  • Understand radioactive dating and the information available from isotopes
  • Understand medical treatment and other useful radiation effects
  • Discuss radiation protection

Prerequisites by Topic
  • None

Course Topics
  • Nuclear energy - reactions - radiation (6 classes)
  • Reactor theory and operation (6 classes)
  • Radiation detectors and instruments (3 classes)
  • Thermodynamics of nuclear power plants (3 classes)
  • Radioactive half lives and radioactive shielding (3 classes)
  • Biological effect of radiation (3 classes)
  • Useful radiation effects (3 classes)
  • Radioactive waste disposal (3 classes)

Dr. Steven Mayer

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