Nuclear Fuel Cycle 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.

Learning Outcomes

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

Forms of Teaching


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


Lectures are given during 15 weeks, 1 hour per week.

Independent assignments



Laboratory exercises are given during 5 weeks, 3 hours per week.

Grading Method

Continuous Assessment Exam
Type Threshold Percent of Grade Threshold Percent of Grade
Laboratory Exercises 0 % 10 % 0 % 5 %
Homeworks 0 % 10 % 0 % 5 %
Mid Term Exam: Written 0 % 30 % 0 %
Final Exam: Written 0 % 50 %
Exam: Written 0 % 40 %
Exam: Oral 50 %

Week by Week Schedule

  1. Uranium resources and mining. Thorium resources and mining.
  2. Uranium conversion methods (yellow cake, uranium hexaflouride). Uranium enrichment methods and separation work. Design and production of nuclear fuel assemblies.
  3. Open fuel cycle. In-core fuel management of nuclear reactor.
  4. Reactor core loading pattern analysis. FUMACS code package.
  5. Technologies for improvement of nuclear fuel utilization. Sustainability of nuclear fuel resources. Economics of nuclear fuel cycle.
  6. High level radioactive waste management. Intermediate and low level radioactive waste management.
  7. Transportation of radioactive waste. Decommissioning of nuclear power plant. Croatian legislation on radioactive waste management.
  8. Midterm exam.
  9. Structure and properties of nuclear reactor fuel.
  10. Construction materials - zirconium and zirconium alloys deformations. Construction materials - steel deformations. Construction materials - concrete.
  11. Neutron moderators.
  12. Reactor coolants. Control materials.
  13. Shielding materials. Radiation damage fundamentals.
  14. Activation of nuclear reactor materials and residual heat.
  15. Final exam.

Study Programmes

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Robert G. Cochran, Nicholas Tsoulfanidis (1990.), The Nuclear Fuel Cycle,
Samuel Glasstone (1964.), Atomska energija, Naučna knjiga, 2. izdanje
Samuel Glasstone, Alexander Sesonske (2012.), Nuclear Reactor Engineering, Springer Science & Business Media
Ioan Ursu (2015.), Physics and Technology of Nuclear Materials, Elsevier
Raymond Murray (2009.), Nuclear Energy, Butterworth-Heinemann

For students


ID 222526
  Winter semester
L2 English Level
L2 e-Learning
30 Lectures
15 Exercises
13 Laboratory exercises

Grading System

90 Excellent
75 Very Good
60 Good
50 Acceptable