First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Engineering
Course unit
INL1000766, A.A. 2017/18

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2016/17

Information on the course unit
Degree course Second cycle degree in
IN0528, Degree course structure A.Y. 2014/15, A.Y. 2017/18
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 9.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination NUCLEAR FISSION AND FUSION PLANTS
Department of reference Department of Industrial Engineering
Mandatory attendance No
Language of instruction Italian
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit

Teacher in charge GIUSEPPE ZOLLINO ING-IND/31

Course unit code Course unit name Teacher in charge Degree course code

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Core courses ING-IND/19 Nuclear Plants 9.0

Mode of delivery (when and how)
Period Second semester
Year 2nd Year
Teaching method frontal

Organisation of didactics
Type of hours Credits Hours of
Hours of
Individual study
Lecture 9.0 72 153.0 No turn

Start of activities 26/02/2018
End of activities 01/06/2018

Prerequisites: Basic knowledge of mathematics, physics, chemistry
Target skills and knowledge: Knowledge of key aspects of physics, engineering and economics of fission nuclear power plants and future fusion power plants
Examination methods: Written test made of 3 or 4 open questions
Assessment criteria: The written test will allow evaluating to what extent students learnt the key aspects (physics, engineering and economics) of the nuclear fission cycle and physics principles and technologies features of fusion
Course unit contents: Birth and development of the nuclear industry, the current situation and position in the global energy scenario.
Microscopic structure of matter: atoms, nuclei and their properties, the nuclear force. The radioactive decay: alpha decay, beta and nuclear de-excitation, ╬│-rays and x-rays. Radiation sources: hints on the isotopic sources, X-ray machines, particle accelerators, neutron sources. Interaction of ionizing radiation with matter: the main mechanisms of interaction of charged and neutral radiation with matter, dosimetry, biological effects of radiation, radiation protection principles. Environmental radioactivity: components and methods of measurement. Nuclear reactions: general, cross section, reactions induced by neutrons and charged particles, nuclear fission and fusion. Physics of nuclear fission: ready and delayed neutrons, reaction rate, neutron flux, cross sections, fast neutrons and thermal neutrons, multiplying means, the reflector, the slowdown, the moderators, the resonance capture, the burn-up.

Reactor physics: chain reaction, criticality, moderation, the 4 and 6 factors formula: control of reactivity and feedback. The thermal reactors: key features of light water reactors (PWR, BWR). New generation reactors: generation III+ reactors (EPR) and Generation IV fast breeder reactors. The engineering of the nuclear system: basic elements of the nuclear system, control organization, the nuclear and conventional parts. Elements of nuclear power plant safety: objectives and basic principles, criteria for nuclear safety, the main safety systems (active, passive). Hints on design issues: quality assurance in nuclear plants, regulatory constraints, thermomechanical problems. The nuclear fuel cycle: open loop and closed loop, fundamental phases of the cycle, methods for fuel enrichment, fuel manufacture, storage, transport and re-processing of spent fuel; temporary and final storage. Economics of the nuclear system: key features and peculiarities of nuclear costs, cost of nuclear electricity.

The engineering of magnetic confinement fusion reactors: the superconducting magnets, the first wall and divertor, the blanket, the plasma heating and current drive systems. The ITER and IFMIF experiments, the DEMO reactor prototype. European models for the commercial reactor. Forecast of fusion power plants costs.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: The course is made of lecturers and some seminars on specific topics
Additional notes about suggested reading: In addition to the reference textbook, slides, documents and monographs are distributed during classes
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Carlo Lombardi, Impianti nucleari. Milano: edizioni Polipress, --. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Maurizio Cumo, Impianti nucleari. Roma: edizioni Universit├á la Sapienza, --. Cerca nel catalogo