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SH2774 Numerical Methods in Nuclear Engineering 6.0 credits

About course offering

For course offering

Autumn 2024 Start 26 Aug 2024 programme students

Target group


Part of programme

Master's Programme, Energy Innovation, åk 1, NUEY, Conditionally Elective

Master's Programme, Nuclear Energy Engineering, åk 1, Optional

Master's Programme, Nuclear Energy Engineering, åk 2, Optional


P1 (3.0 hp), P2 (3.0 hp)


26 Aug 2024
13 Jan 2025

Pace of study


Form of study

Normal Daytime

Language of instruction


Course location


Number of places

Places are not limited

Planned modular schedule


For course offering

Autumn 2024 Start 26 Aug 2024 programme students

Application code



For course offering

Autumn 2024 Start 26 Aug 2024 programme students


Vasily Arzhanov,


No information inserted

Course coordinator

No information inserted


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Headings with content from the Course syllabus SH2774 (Spring 2022–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

The course addresses fundamentals of numerical analysis and numerical solution of ODE’s and PDE’s arising in nuclear engineering.  Topics covered include

  • Solution of linear equations using direct, stationary and non-stationary iterative methods
  • Solution of system of non-linear equations using iterative methods
  • Solution of eigenvalue problems
  • Numerical integration and differentiation
  • Consistency, stability and convergence of discretized equations
  • Truncation error analysis
  • Von Neumann stability analysis
  • Lax-Richtmyer equivalence theorem
  • Finite difference discretization of ODE’s
  • Numerical solution of initial value and boundary value ODE’s
  • Finite difference and finite volume discretization of PDE’s
  • Numerical solution of PDE’s arising in nuclear engineering

Intended learning outcomes

Modern engineering work requires a variety of simulation codes.  However, computer simulation has become a frequently used and misused tool.  Too often the numerical simulation is used as a black box with little insight into the underlying assumptions.  The traditional engineering education provides no or little background in simulation techniques, their capabilities and limitations.  This course is intended to provide a systematic introduction into the methods, capabilities and limitations of computer simulation.

The course focus is on computational methods for problems arising in nuclear reactor system analysis.  Topics include numerical methods for solving large, sparse systems of linear equations that result from the discretization of partial differential equations, numerical solution of nonlinear algebraic equations, eigenvalue problems, ordinary differential equations (ODE’s) and partial differential equations (PDE’s).  Applications include heat conduction, fluid mechanics, neutron diffusion and neutron kinetics. 

Within the context of nuclear engineering, after the course the student should be able to:

  • Solve system of linear equations
  • Solve system of non-linear equations
  • Solve eivenvalue/eigenvector problem
  • Use Taylor expansion to derive finite difference approximation
  • Derive truncation error of discretized equations
  • Analyze consistency, stability and convergence of numerical method
  • Solve system of linear ODE’s
  • Solve system of linear PDE’s arising in nuclear engineering applications

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

English B / English 6

Recommended prerequisites

Basic courses in Calculus (Mathematical Analysis), basic course in Linear Algebra, basic knowledge of any programming language.


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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


  • INL1 - Assignment, 1.0 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • INL2 - Assignment, 1.0 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • INL3 - Assignment, 1.0 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • INL4 - Assignment, 1.0 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • TEN1 - Examination, 1.0 credits, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F
  • TEN2 - Examination, 1.0 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.

Homework assignments (INL1-4, 4 ECTS).
Two written exams (TEN1-2, 2 ECTS).

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 room in Canvas

Registered students find further information about the implementation of the course in the course room in Canvas. A link to the course room can be found under the tab Studies in the Personal menu at the start of the course.

Offered by

Main field of study

This course does not belong to any Main field of study.

Education cycle

Second cycle

Add-on studies

No information inserted


Vasily Arzhanov,

Supplementary information

Completion of the course assignments will require computer programming.  Use of interpreted language, such as MATLAB or Phyton, is encouraged, but not mandatory.