Nuc E 470 Syllabus

Fall 2007

Power Plant Simulation

3 credits


Me 33, Math 251, Nuc E 302


Dr. John Mahaffy , 231 Reber , 863-4018,

Office Hours:

By appointment


HANDOUTS, and Online Documentation will be provided via ANGEL.


Most individuals entering a career in the nuclear power industry or in regulation of nuclear power (USNRC), will on numerous occasions be asked to simulate an accident scenario in a nuclear power plant or make decisions based on transient simulations performed by others. This course consists of a series of lectures and exercises designed to provide the basic knowledge necessary for intelligent interpretation of results from major reactor simulation codes such as TRACE, RELAP5, RETRAN, and CATHARE. The nature of the material covered combined with scheduling requirements for the computer laboratory will result in some abrupt transitions between lecture topics. However, the common thread of power system simulation runs through everything, and the course is structured to systematically prepare you for the successful completion of the final project.



The primary objective of this course is to teach application of engineering skills to construction of best estimate power plant simulations, and interpretation of the their results.  In the process students will need to:

Class Structure

Attendance at the 10:10 MWF sessions is mandatory. Attendance at the 11:15 class hours on Wednesday and Friday is at times optional. However, this time slot is considered to be part of the office hours for the class and is an ideal time to begin your assignments and learn how to use the computer software while under supervision. 

You will be attempting to solve relatively complex problems, with a very complex and too frequently fallible tool (welcome to the real world). As a result you will be required to work in teams to cross-check each other's work. Individual written descriptions are required for all work, but team members should generally submit input decks and computational results as a common group product. Because of the possibility of code problems beyond your control, you should contact me quickly when you believe that you have hit a brick wall.

Tentative dates for written exams are October 13 and November 22. All assignments will be made via  ANGEL, all results for your homework and the final project must be submitted via drop boxes provided on ANGEL. The full results of any homework assignment must be time stamped no later than 11::59 PM of the assigned due date.

Academic Integrity

Classroom Environment


Final grades will be determined approximately as follows:

2 Midterms 25% each;

Homework assignments and quizzes 25%;

Final Project 25%.

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