Nuclear Fuel Cycles and Reactor Materials

Course Description

Resources and mining of uranium and thorium. Uranium conversion and enrichment. Design and production of fuel assemblies. Reactor calculations. In-core fuel management. Reprocessing and recycling of spent fuel. Management of low level and high level radioactive waste. Decommissioning of nuclear power plants. Structure and properties of reactor materials. Nuclear fuel. Structural materials. Moderators and coolants of nuclear reactors. Materials for shields and reactor control.

General Competencies

Student will achieve a good understanding of nuclear fuel cycle phases. Student will also acquire basic knowledge on reactor materials. He will attain practical skills to evaluate specific parameters of nuclear fuel cycles and reactor materials.

Learning Outcomes

  1. State resources and production methods of uranium and thorium.
  2. Explain methods of uranium enrichment and conversion.
  3. State design and production of fuel assemblies.
  4. Explain methods of reactor calculation.
  5. Describe reprocessing and recycling of spent fuel.
  6. Explain management of low level and high level radioactive waste.
  7. Evaluate nuclear fuel cycle costs.
  8. State reactor materials structure and properties.

Forms of Teaching


Lectures are given during 15 weeks, 2 hours per week.


Homeworks and midterm exam.


Consultations are conducted individually or with a group of students, depending on an agreement with the students.

Other Forms of Group and Self Study

Individual homeworks.

Internship visits

Visit to Nuclear power plant Krško.

Grading Method

Continuous Assessment Exam
Type Threshold Percent of Grade Threshold Percent of Grade
Homeworks 0 % 20 % 0 % 10 %
Mid Term Exam: Written 0 % 30 % 0 %
Final Exam: Written 0 % 50 %
Exam: Written 0 % 40 %
Exam: Oral 50 %

Week by Week Schedule

  1. Resources and mining of uranium and thorium.
  2. Uranium conversion and uranium enrichment.
  3. Design and production of nuclear fuel assemblies.
  4. Economics of the nuclear fuel cycles.
  5. In-core fuel management.
  6. Reprocessing and recycling of the spent nuclear fuel.
  7. Management of high level radioactive waste.
  8. Management of low level radioactive waste.
  9. Decommissioning of the nuclear power plant.
  10. Structure and properties of nuclear materials.
  11. Nuclear reactor fuel.
  12. Structural materials of nuclear reactor.
  13. Neutron moderators.
  14. Nuclear reactor coolants.
  15. Materials for nuclear reactor control. Shielding materials.

Study Programmes

University graduate
Electrical Power Engineering (profile)
Specialization Course (3. semester)


Robert G. Cochran, Nicholas Tsoulfanidis (1999.), The Nuclear Fuel Cycle: Analysis and Management, American Nuclear Society
I. Ursu (1985.), Physics and Technology of Nuclear Materials, Pergamon Press
Benjamin M. Ma (1983.), Nuclear Reactor Materials and Applications, Van Nostrand Reinhold
Brian R.T. Frost (1982.), Nuclear Fuel Elements: Design, Fabrication, Performance, Pergamon Press


ID 34482
  Winter semester
L2 English Level
L1 e-Learning
30 Lectures
0 Exercises
0 Laboratory exercises
0 Project laboratory

Grading System

90 Excellent
75 Very Good
60 Good
50 Acceptable