Fjärde generationens reaktorer

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Course Card

Title: Generation IV Reactors

Reference number: SH2604


Educational level: Second cycle

Target group: TNEEM, TIETM

Programmes: Master's Programme, Energy Innovation, year 1, NUEY, Recommended; Master's Program

me, Nuclear Energy Engineering, year 1, Optional

Attendance: Mandatory (minimum required: 80 %)

Number of Places: No limitations

Language: English

Campus: AlbaNova

Course Examiner: Prof. Pär Olsson

Course Responsible: Dr. Sara Bortot

Course Teacher: Dr. Sara Bortot

Course objectives


After this course, you will be able to make design choices that make Generation IV reactors sustainable, safe and reasonably economical.

In particular, you will be able to:

  • design a fast reactor core meeting the target performance (breeding, size, burn-up, etc.) while respecting technological constraints;

  • calculate and analyze reactor safety parameters in fast neutron reactors;

  • develop simplified models for fast core dynamics simulations and perform preliminary safety analyses.


An intrinsic objective of the course is to achieve skills necessary for working autonomously as a scientist or engineer. The main assignment is therefore formulated as a project/research task, which will be presented in the form of a conference paper. The objective is accomplished if you show that you are able to:

  • independently identify missing pieces of information necessary to complete the research task and independently find this information from external sources;
  • assess and use contents of references;
  • communicate with your colleagues and your teacher about progress and problems arising during research;
  • orally as well as in writing present the outcomes of your research in a scientific and pedagogic manner.



The production of commercial nuclear power today is dependent on the availability of U-­235, the only fissile nuclide naturally present on Earth. Once the easily accessible resources of U-­235 become exhausted, a transition to reactors capable of breeding their own fissile fuel from U-­238 may become economically feasible. Breeder reactors of "Generation IV" design, would -­ besides plutonium ‐ also recycle minor actinides, in order to reduce the long‐term radio-­toxic inventory sent to geological repositories. Another Generation IV objective is the operation at high temperature, leading to better conversion efficiency, thus compensating for the higher maintenance and fuel costs of these systems.

Topics - frontal lectures

  • Generation IV reactors -­ Introduction and Overview
  • Physics of Breeding
  • Monte Carlo Methods and Introduction to Serpent
  • Fast Reactor Coolants, Fuel and Cladding Materials
  • Safety Parameters in Fast Neutron Systems
  • Fast Reactor Core Design
  • Fast Reactor Core Dynamics -­ Introduction and Modeling

Topics - flipped classrooms

  • Generation IV reactors types and current design status
  • Fuel Management
  • Fast Reactor Materials
  • Fast Reactor Components
  • Fast Reactor Safety


Teaching Approach

The course is designed to be as dynamic as possible, so as to give you flexibility, independence and responsibility in organizing your work. The proposed teaching approach aims at providing strong theoretical bases while fostering the development of functional skills through involvement in very technical project-­based learning activities.

Learning Activities

The course is organized into lecture, workshop and free class meetings. Learning activities include both individual and group work.
Lecture class meetings last three hours and take place every second week (see Schedule). During each of these meetings, the teacher will introduce and discuss one course topic. Workshop class meetings last two hours and are dedicated to home assignments group presentations and discussion: during these meetings the teacher will provide you with additional explanations, doubts clarification and you will receive feedback on your group and individual work both from him/her and from your colleagues.

Free class meetings are scheduled every third week (namely, for the weeks free from lecture and workshop class meetings), last three + two hours, and are dedicated to independent group work. It is your total responsibility organizing and managing this time at your best convenience.

Team work will result in the preparation of seminars to be delivered by the groups during the following class meeting.

Home Assignments (HAs)

  • Calculation of conversion ratios for different core geometries and material option

  • Calculation of reactivity coefficients and kinetic parameters
  • Design of a fast reactor core meeting a given target performance

  • Development of a simplified fast reactor core dynamics simulator

All home assignments will be discussed and assessed during the course meetings. Having done all home assignments, writing the conference report will not be difficult.


To pass the course you should actively participate in all course meetings.

The results of home assignments and team work (flipped classrooms) will be presented and discussed at the course meetings.

If you cannot attend a meeting, report this in advance, and you will be given an extra written assignment to replace the meeting you missed.

You are further required to have participated in writing and presenting a conference report with the title "Design and Analysis of a Generation IV Fast Reactor Core". The research for the report will be done in groups. The paper is to be presented orally before the final examination.

The final examination constitutes of an individual discussion with the teacher about the contents of the course, lasting 30-60 minutes.


In order to pass the exam, you are required to pass each of the following evaluations with a minimum grade of D:

  • HA1: grades 1 to 10; 5 % weight
  • HA2: grades 1 to 10; 5 % weight
  • HA3: grades 1 to 10; 5 % weight
  • HA4: grades 1 to 10; 5 % weight
  • FC1: grades 1 to 10; 5 % weight
  • FC2: grades 1 to 10; 5 % weight
  • FC3: grades 1 to 10; 5 % weight
  • FC4: grades 1 to 10; 5 % weight
  • Scientific report: grades 1 to 10; 20 % weight
  • Paper oral presentation: grades 1 to 10; 40 % weight

If you obtain an average higher than 7 in these evaluations, you are admitted to the oral interview. In case you do not meet this criterion, you must attend the course again.

Oral interview: grades A to F.


Final Evaluation


For students who pass the exam being graded with A, a mention of merit with a recommendation letter will be provided by the Examiner.


A course in reactor physics (e.g. SH2600) or equivalent knowledge. This is a mandatory requirement. If you have not taken a reactor physics course you will not be permitted to attend the course.


Practical Information

Office Hours and Location

AlbaNova Campus, Reactor Physics Division (3rd floor) Wednesday 10:00-­‐12:00;

Means of Communication

Drop-­in during office hours
Time booking via e-mail otherwise




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