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SH2600 Nuclear Reactor Physics, Major Course 9.0 credits

A compulsory course for the Master Program in Nuclear Energy Engineering with theory and applications.

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Headings with content from the Course syllabus SH2600 (Spring 2022–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

Being a core discipline in nuclear engineering, the course focuses on fundamental concepts in reactor physics as well as basic physical processes that determine operation of nuclear reactors and some other related subjects. The course gives a gentle introduction to the following topics:

  • Nuclear fission and chain reaction;
  • Neutron thermalisation;
  • Neutron diffusion equation;
  • Reactor kinetics and reactor dynamics;
  • Monte Carlo methods;
  • Nuclear fuel cycle and nuclear waste management;
  • Reactor types and future Generation IV reactors;
  • Accelerator Driven Systems and transmutation;
  • Basic principles and modern issues of nuclear power safety.

Intended learning outcomes

The aim of this course is to give basic and advanced knowledge in modern reactor physics. The main part of the course is devoted to neutron diffusion theory, theory of nuclear fission and their industrial applications (power generation). The lectures give also an insight into new ideas to transmute nuclear wastes with help of particle accelerators. A historical survey of the milestones of nuclear physics since 1900 is also given in an introduction to the lectures. The course gives also some practical understanding of reactor operation through the laboratory exercises conducted at the deparmental reactor simulator and probably at a research reactor.

Course disposition

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Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

The course requires Bachelor level knowledge of mathematics and physics from an engineering Bachelor programme.  Fundamentals of basic nuclear physics and quantum mechanics are desirable but not formally requitred.

English B / English 6

Recommended prerequisites

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Examination and completion

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

Grading scale

A, B, C, D, E, FX, F


  • LABA - Laboratory Work, 4.0 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • TENA - Examination, 5.0 credits, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, 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.

Other requirements for final grade

To pass the course students are supposed to submit four written laboratory reports and pass the final written examination. The final grading may be improved by passing through a mid-term written examination (5 university credits) and/or orally presenting one out of four laboratory exercises (4 university credits).

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 SH2600

Offered by

SCI/Undergraduate Physics

Main field of study

Engineering Physics, Physics

Education cycle

Second cycle

Add-on studies

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