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FSH3773 Nuclear Power Safety 6.0 credits

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Headings with content from the Course syllabus FSH3773 (Spring 2019–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

The course addresses both fundamentals of safety design and methods for safety analysis of nuclear power plants, with emphasis on Light Water Reactors. Topics covered include

  • Safety characterization and safety features of nuclear power plants
  • Reactor safety principles and criteria
  • Design-basis and beyond-design-basis events
  • Accident phenomena, including severe accidents
  • Safety systems, containment performance
  • Deterministic safety analysis (basic elements)
  • Accident modeling and simulation codes
  • Probabilistic safety analysis (basic elements)
  • Analysis of operation transients, accidents and severe accidents.
  • Emergency operation procedure, accident management
  • Safety issues and safety issue resolution
  • Operating experience, regulation and safety culture

Intended learning outcomes

Nuclear Power Safety (NPS) is paramount to both economic performance and public acceptance of nuclear power. The ultimate mission of NPS is to ensure that release of radioactive materials from nuclear power plants and its effect on plant personnel, public health and environment is as low as reasonably achievable. Technical content of NPS addresses both the Probability and Consequences of such radioactive releases from the plant under normal, abnormal and accident conditions, including hypothetical accidents. The NPS course aims to provide students with basics they need to be able to address questions: What are possible accidents? How do they occur? How often they occur? What are consequences?

After the course the student shall possess a basic understanding of principles, issues and tools in nuclear power safety. This objective is achieved if you show that you are able to:

  1. Define safety design requirements and explain how they are achieved in design, construction and operation of a nuclear power plant;
  2. Identify key milestones in accident progression scenarios (from design-basis accidents to severe core-melt accidents) and relate them to respective prevention and mitigation measures;
  3. Perform a scoping assessment of a perceived threat against a plant safety barrier using contemporary knowledge and methods in safety analysis.

Course disposition

The course instruction includes 32 hours of classroom (24 hours of lecture and 8 hours of seminar) and 130 hours of work in your office (~70 hours of reading the course literature, ~60 hours of work with the course assignments).

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

Admitted to PhD studies in Physics, Biological Physics, or related fields of study.

Recommended prerequisites

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  1. Lecture material with supplementary course notes.
  2. B. Pershagen, Light Water Reactor Safety, Pergamon Press, 1989
  3. Scientific papers and technical reports on selected topics of plant safety.

Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

P, F


  • PRO1 - Project assignment, 3,0 hp, betygsskala: P, F
  • TEN1 - Written exam, 2,0 hp, betygsskala: P, F
  • TEN2 - Written exam, 1,0 hp, betygsskala: P, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

PRO1 - Assignment (project) 3 hp  grade scale: P/F

TEN1 - First exam 2 hp, grade scale: P/F

TEN2 - Final exam 1 hp, grade scale: P/F

Other requirements for final grade

Assignment (project) 3 hp

First exam 2 hp

Final exam 1 hp

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

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Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

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Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course web

Further information about the course can be found on the Course web at the link below. Information on the Course web will later be moved to this site.

Course web FSH3773

Offered by


Main field of study

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Education cycle

Third cycle

Add-on studies

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Weimin Ma (

Postgraduate course

Postgraduate courses at SCI/Physics