# PE Nuclear Exam Preparation Module Program—Learning Objectives

Below is a listing of the learning objectives for each module in the program.

Below is a listing of the learning objectives for each module in the program.

**Introduction to the Nuclear PE Exam**

Registering for the Exam

- Know how to register with your state board.
- Know how to set up a MyNCEES account and register for the exam.
- Discuss the date and format of the PE Exam in Nuclear Engineering.
- Discuss appropriate reference materials and where they may be obtained.

Preparations for the Exam

- Discuss how to prepare prior to taking the exam.
- Discuss appropriate reference materials and what items can be brought to the exam.
- Describe the exam check-in process and scoring issues.

**General Information**

Nuclear History

- Give a brief history of the discovery of radioactivity, nuclear fission, nuclear weapons, and nuclear power.

Agencies, Regulators, and Professional Organizations (PDF only)

- Become familiar with the various agencies, regulators, and professional organizations that are involved with the nuclear field.

**Science Background**

Introduction to Units (PDF only)

- Appropriate units are needed to arrive at correct answers.
- Be consistent with the system of units (SI or USCS) used throughout the problem, for all the parts.
- Units can help you check your answers; e.g., if a question is asking for power and you obtain the result in the units of energy, you will want to check for errors.
- If you choose to convert the values in the question to a different system from what is given, be sure to convert back!

*This topic also includes the following modules (PDFs only):*

-Unit Conversions: Nuclear Physics and Basic Units

-Unit Conversions: Flow Calculations

-Unit Conversions: Energy and Power

-Constants and Units

Fundamentals of Nuclear Structure

- Identify the parts of an atom.
- Understand the difference between atom, element, and isotope.
- Recognize the symbol for an isotope and understand the difference between atomic number (
*Z*) and atomic mass (*A*).

Fundamental Particles

- Describe the fundamental particles in nuclear engineering.
- Understand the atomic mass unit and the relative masses of the fundamental particles.
- Recognize photons and how they relate to the electromagnetic spectrum.

The Electron

- Describe electron charge (negative) and importance for chemical bonding.
- Describe the periodic table layout.
- Describe the electron capture mechanism.

Waves and Particles

- Understand the wave-particle duality of light and fundamental particles.

Relativity and Time Dilation

- Understand the formulation of the Theory of Special Relativity.
- Become familiar with the topic of time dilation, and be able to calculate observed time in different frames of reference.

Length Contraction

- Understand length contraction and mass increase from an example of muon creation.
- Identify the energy invariance relationship.
- Determine which radiation types are affected by relativity effects in typical nuclear engineering situations.

Cerenkov Radiation

- Familiarize yourself with Cerenkov radiation.
- Understand the index of refraction and variables in the equation.
- Calculate the threshold energy for Cerenkov radiation in a medium.

**Analysis**

Chart of the Nuclides

- Understand the arrangement of the chart.
- Identify the types of entries and how they relate to the stability of the isotope.
- Describe decay mechanisms of isotopes in relation to their location on the chart.
- Understand the relationship of target and product for different bombardment reactions.

Atom Density Calculations, Part I

- Describe atom density.
- Calculate atom density with a variety of input parameters.

Atom Density Calculations, Part II

- Calculate atom density with a variety of input parameters.

Atom Density Calculations, Part III

- Describe atom density calculations for solution systems.

Nuclear Reactions

- Understand the conservation laws used in nuclear reactions.
- Identify particles involved in decay reactions.
- Write and identify the parts to a nuclear reaction equation.

Binding Energy

- Determine how to calculate the
*Q*-value for a reaction. - Understand mass defect/binding energy and how to calculate it.
- Identify important parts of and concepts related to the nuclear binding energy curve.

Threshold Energy

- Determine how to calculate the threshold energy for an endothermic reaction.
- Understand that theQ-value is not the same as the threshold energy, as momentum must be conserved.

Nuclear Stability and X-Rays

- Identify that for stable isotopes, the ratio of neutrons to protons in the nucleus increases as the atomic number increases.
- Understand that a nucleus in an excited state can undergo internal conversion or isomeric transition, and recognize the differences between the two.
- Identify that the energy of an X-ray is the difference in binding energies of the two orbitals.
- Understand that X-rays are characteristic of the atom from which they came.

**Radioactive Decay**

Radioactive Decay Overview

- Understand the difference between radiation, radioactivity, and radioisotope.
- Identify radioactive decay and de-excitation processes.
- Describe half-life.
- Become familiar with radioactive decay equations.

Alpha and Beta Decay

- Define and understand the processes of alpha and beta decay.
- Define and calculate the value of
*Q*for alpha and beta decay. - Determine the energies of beta and gamma decay particles using the Chart of the Nuclides.

Positron Decay and Electron Capture

- Define and understand the processes of positron decay and electron capture.
- Calculate or determine
*Q*for positron decay and electron capture.

Radioactive Decay

- Understand radioactive decay and half-life.
- Identify the relationship between half-life and the decay constant.
- Familiarize yourself with the decay equation.

Activity and Decay Rate

- Understand terminology associated with activity, specific activity, and decay rate.
- Calculate the activity of a mass of a given isotope.
- Familiarize yourself with the different units of activity and decay.

Decay Chains

- Understand terminology associated with radioactive decay chains.
- Identify the difference between secular and transient equilibrium.
- Familiarize yourself with the Bateman equation.

Isotope Production and Decay Summary

- Understand how radioisotopes are produced.
- Familiarize yourself with the production rate and decay equations.
- Recognize when production reaches saturation activity.
- Review general concepts in activity and decay.

**Energy Deposition**

Interactions of Heavy Charged Particles

- Understand that heavy charged particles lose energy through ionization events and travel in a straight path.
- Identify the stopping power provides information on the energy loss per unit path for the particles.
- Understand the behavior of the particles is characterized by
*β*and*F*(*β*). - Recognize materials are characterized by the natural log of the mean ionization potential; the nuclear charge,
*Z*; and the atomic mass number,*A*.

Ranges and Heavy Charged Particles

- Understand mass stopping power and how it changes based on material.
- Understand how ranges of heavy charged particles are calculated.
- Determine ranges of heavy charged particles, such as alphas, based on the range of a proton of the same velocity.

Range of Alpha Particles

- Determine the range of alpha particles in different materials.
- Summarize the mechanisms of heavy charged particle interactions and corresponding range in different materials.

Interactions of Electrons

- Understand the two main mechanisms of electron/ positron interactions:

-Excitation and ionization.

-Bremsstrahlung.

- Identify the difference in radiation paths between an electron and an alpha particle.
- Recognize how annihilation interactions occur and the characteristics of the interaction.

Stopping Power of Electrons

- Understand what stopping power is for beta particles.
- Identify the difference between collisional and radiative stopping power.
- Recognize the relativistic and classical equations governing mass and energy.
- Become familiar with the stopping power equation.

Bremsstrahlung

- Define and understand what bremsstrahlung is.
- Identify how the
*Z*of a material and the incoming particle mass affect bremsstrahlung intensity. - Recognize the empirical formula for determining the ratio of radiative and collisional stopping powers.
- Become familiar with the radiation yield equation.

Range of Electrons

- Understand what equations are needed to determine the range of beta particles.
- Become familiar with the Beta Range–Energy graph.
- Understand tabulated data on electron interactions in water.

Range of Electrons Examples

- Understand the use of the empirical range equations to determine the range of beta particles.
- Identify and use the equations for determining the range of betas through layers of low-
*Z*materials.

**Interaction of Photons with Matter**

Particle Interactions

- Identify that for charged particles interacting with atomic electrons, two events are possible:
- If enough energy is given to the electron, it will be separated from the atom, creating an ion pair.
- If insufficient energy is available, then the electron will be excited and move to a different orbital.
- Understand that in both interactions, the charged particle will lose energy, with the amount dependent on the mass of the charged particle.

Photon Interactions Overview

- Recognize photon interactions and the three main types of interactions:

-Photoelectric effect

-Compton scattering

-Pair production

- Understand the difference between ionizing and non-ionizing radiation.

Photoelectric Effect

- Identify the discovery and history of photoelectric absorption.
- Become familiar with the work function.
- Understand the process of photoelectric absorption, including X-ray emission.

Compton Scattering

- Understand the physics of Compton scattering.
- Become familiar with the Compton scattering equation to calculate incident photon energy, final photon energy, and photon scattering angle.
- Calculate the maximum kinetic energy transferred to an electron in a Compton scattering event.

Pair Production

- Understand that pair production is a threshold reaction requiring at least a 1.022-MeV incoming photon to occur.
- Understand that 1.022 MeV of energy is converted to create an electron–positron pair.
- Identify that collision of the positron with an electron produces annihilation radiation in the form of two 0.511-MeV gammas.

Photon Interaction Coefficients

- Identify the basic concepts of cross sections for photon interactions.
- Understand the difference between linear and mass attenuation and mass absorption coefficients.
- Recognize how photons are attenuated.

Measuring Attenuation Coefficients (Mu)

- Understand attenuation coefficients and the effect of materials on a beam of photons.
- Identify the difference between “narrow” and “broad” beam geometries.
- Work through examples that calculate how many photons interact in a given material.

Photon Cross Sections

- Understand photon cross sections and how the different physical processes contribute to the overall cross section.
- Identify the difference between microscopic and macroscopic cross sections.
- Calculate linear attenuation coefficients and cross sections for different processes.

Absorption Cross Sections

- Understand how photons transfer energy to a medium.
- Be familiar with the different absorption coefficients.
- Explain the difference between kerma and absorbed dose.

Process Cross Sections

- Understand the three major photon interactions and the energy dependence for the interaction types to occur.
- Become familiar with the types of problems using different interaction coefficients, materials, and incident photon radiation.

**Radiation Detection and Dosimetry**

Radiation Detection

- Describe the various methods of detecting radiation.
- Identify the best detectors for alpha radiation, beta radiation, gamma radiation, and neutrons.

Ionization Chambers and Proportional Counters

- Understand the basic principles of ionization chambers.
- Identify the major components of a detector.
- Recognize the different voltage regions and how they apply to different detector types.

Gas-Filled Counters

- Identify how a gas-filled detector works.
- Understand how the applied voltage of the detector is proportional to the amount of ion pairs produced.
- Understand the different regions gas-filled counters operate in and the advantages/ disadvantages of operation in those regions.

Semiconductor Detectors

- Understand the use of semiconductor detectors and the physics behind their function.
- Recognize the difference between conductors, insulators, and semiconductors.
- Identify energy resolution and full-width at half-maximum (FWHM).

Scintillation Detectors

- Identify how scintillation detectors work and the components that make up the detector.
- Understand the different types of scintillators and their performance capabilities.

Radiation Dosimetry

- Understand the difference between absorbed dose, dose, radiation dose, dose equivalent, activity, and quality factor (definitions from 10 CFR 20.1003).
- Identify the different units of radiation and understand the differences and application.
- Recognize the relationship between exposure and dose.

Radiation Dosimetry Topics

- Understand the Bragg–Gray Principle.
- Calculate the average or effective energy of radiation.
- Determine exposure from an internal source or point source.

Radiation Dosimetry Examples

- Work through different radiation dosimetry examples.
- Become familiar with the different types of dose calculations, including units and terminology.

Internal Dosimetry

- Define internal dosimetry as the study of radioisotope transport, deposition, and dosing within the human body.
- Identify intake routes and critical organs for various radioisotopes.
- Understand that radioisotopes have both a chemical and a radiological behavior within the body.

Internal Half-Lives

- Understand metabolic removal, radiological half-life, biological half-life, and effective half-life.
- Calculate effective half-lives in different examples.

Annual Limit on Intake (ALI) and Derived Air Concentration (DAC)

- Describe annual limit on intake (ALI) and derived air concentration (DAC).
- Calculate the dose given the air sample results.

**Dose Assessment and Personnel Safety**

Biological Effects of Radiation

- Describe how radiation interacts with the body and affects cells.
- Discuss the time frame of exposure.
- Identify total effects of radiation.

Threshold Dose

- Describe how radiation exposure and overall dose relate to the effects identified.
- Discuss the linear no-threshold hypothesis.

Dose Limits

- Understand the similarities and differences between the dose rate limits of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
- Identify NRC and DOE definitions for different radiation controlled areas.
- Calculate the effective dose and effective dose equivalent.

Dose Topics

- Understand how the organ receiving a dose and the type of radiation affect total equivalent dose received and how this applies to the overall dose limit.
- Identify the difference between organ dose and the equivalent whole-body dose.

**Shielding**

External Radiation Protection and Shielding

- Describe the three basic principles of radiation protection.
- Understand the inverse square law.
- Become familiar with the health effects of different radiation types.
- Identify the basic attenuation equation.

Geometry of Shielding

- Describe the difference between good geometry and broad-beam geometry (sometimes referred to as poor geometry).
- Understand the effects of good geometry and broad-beam geometry.
- Identify what buildup is and how it applies to the attenuation equation.

Determination of Buildup Factors

- Understand how to determine the buildup factor for a specific problem.
- Practice linear interpolation.
- Complete an example of shielding using buildup factors.

Shielding Analysis

- Understand the basis of the 2.5 mR/hr exposure level.
- Work through the processes of shielding problems.

Shielding Examples, Part I

- Complete a shielding example problem using buildup factors and interpolation.

Shielding Examples, Part II

- Work through a shielding example using multiple gamma energies.

Photon Shielding Principles

- Identify general radiation shielding topics.
- Understand and calculate the half-value and tenth-value layers.
- Understand bremsstrahlung radiation.
- Identify aspects required for shielding bremsstrahlung radiation.

**Nuclear Fuel Cycle Front End**

Nuclear Fuel Cycle: Front End

- To learn:

– the purpose of each component of the open nuclear fuel cycle.

– how to perform material balance problems.

– how to perform separative work problems.

– how to calculate the cost of enrichment.

Enrichment: Gaseous Diffusion

- To learn:

– the physics of gaseous diffusion enrichment and the associated equations.

– the details of a gaseous diffusion plant.

Enrichment: Gaseous Centrifugation

- To learn:

– the physics of gaseous centrifugation enrichment.

– how to calculate the separative capacity of a centrifuge.

– comparison of the efficiency and capabilities of diffusion enrichment and centrifugation enrichment.

Front End Examples

- Review several example problems.

**Fuel Design and Analysis**

Depletion, Burnup, and Transmutation

- Identify the general equation used in these calculations and define the specific variables.
- Understand production and loss terms for fuel, target material, and fission products.
- Calculate burnup of fuel for given reactor conditions.

Reactor Fuel Design

- Discuss the importance of reactor fuel.
- Identify the different fuel materials and their features.
- Understand the characteristics of fuel performance.
- Recognize the mechanisms of fuel growth and swelling.

Burnable Poisons

- Describe a burnable poison and its use in a nuclear reactor.
- Understand the advantages of burnable poisons, specifically fuel utilization and reactivity control.
- Identify common burnable poison materials and designs.

Cladding

- Discuss the functional requirements of cladding.
- Identify the different cladding materials and their features.
- Understand the neutronic properties of cladding.
- Identify zirconium alloys and their capabilities.

Fuel Assembly Fabrication

- Understand the steps in fabrication a fuel assembly, including

– fuel pellet production

– fuel rod production

– fuel assembly production.

- Identify differences between PWR and BWR fuel assemblies.

**Nuclear Fuel Cycle Back End**

Classification of Radioactive Waste

- Describe the sources of radioactive waste.
- Define the five categories of radioactive waste.
- Describe the classes of low-level radioactive waste.
- Describe how each category of radioactive waste is to be disposed of.

Decay Heat from UNF

- Describe why it is important to be able to determine the decay heat from used nuclear fuel (UNF).
- Discuss the qualitative behavior of decay heat generation rate after reactor shutdown.
- Calculate decay heat for various operating and shutdown scenarios.

UNF Spent Fuel Pools

- Describe the storage options for used nuclear fuel (UNF).
- Describe the safety requirements for UNF spent fuel pools.

UNF Dry Cask Storage

- Identify the two types of dry cask storage.
- Describe the requirements for an independent spent fuel storage installation (ISFSI).

Transportation of Radioactive Materials

- Explain the role of the NRC, the DOT, and other agencies involved in the transportation of radioactive materials.
- Identify the different types of packages used in transporting radioactive materials.
- Define transport index (TI) and how it is applied to the transportation of radioactive materials.
- Define a SARP and describe its contents.

Geologic Disposal of Radioactive Waste

- Discuss the relationship between activity and toxicity of radioactive waste.
- Describe the geologic disposal features and advantages of different types of geologic media.
- Discuss the status of UNF disposal in the United States.
- Describe Oklo and discuss its relevance to radioactive waste disposal.
- Describe WIPP.

**Steam**

Steam Properties

- Define subcooled, saturated, and superheated as applied to the states of water found in a nuclear power plant.
- Define quality as applied to a saturated water system.
- Describe how changes in pressure allow a BWR to produce steam in the core while a PWR doesn’t.

Fluid Parameters

- Describe the parameters provided in the
*PE Nuclear Reference Handbook*for subcooled water. - Describe the parameters provided in the
*PE Nuclear Reference Handbook*for saturated water and steam. - Describe the parameters provided in the
*PE Nuclear Reference Handbook*for superheated steam.

Steam Tables Examples, Part I

- Determine the parameters provided in the
*PE Nuclear Reference Handbook*for subcooled water. - Determine the parameters provided in the
*PE Nuclear Reference Handbook*for superheated steam. - Determine the condition of steam (saturated or superheated) and use the appropriate table.

Steam Tables Examples, Part II

- Determine the quality for saturated steam-water mixtures when given a specific volume or enthalpy or entropy at a given condition.
- Determine any or all of the parameters provided in the
*PE Nuclear Reference Handbook*for saturated steam-water mixtures when given a quality at a given condition.

Steam Tables Examples, Part III

- Determine the parameters provided in the
*PE Nuclear Reference Handbook*for saturated steam-water mixtures when given a quality and temperature. - Calculate parameters using either English units or SI units commonly known as metric units.

Steam Tables Examples, Part IV

- Using the steam tables, calculate the work done in a turbine based on given inlet and outlet conditions.
- Using the turbine efficiency, calculate the actual work and the actual turbine outlet conditions.

**Fluids**

Fluid Flow and Energy Balance

- Describe the relationship between Bernoulli’s equation and the First Law of Thermodynamics.
- Discuss each of the terms in the general energy balance equation.
- Given the initial and final conditions of the system, calculate the unknown fluid properties using the simplified Bernoulli equation.

Pressure Head

- Define the term
*head*with respect to its use in fluid flow. - Given a set of system conditions, calculate the pump head or friction head using the modified Bernoulli equation.

Laminar and Turbulent Flow

- Describe the characteristics and flow velocity profiles of laminar flow and turbulent flow.
- Define viscosity and how it varies with temperature.
- Describe the relationship between the Reynolds number and the degree of turbulence of the flow.

Friction Factors

- Define the four different friction factors and how they are related.
- Discuss the relationship between friction factor and Reynolds number and how this is demonstrated on a Moody chart.

Determination of Friction Factor

- Determine the value of the friction factor using the Moody Chart.
- Describe how the roughness is related to pipe material.
- Discuss how relative roughness is calculated and how it affects the friction factor.

Calculation of Friction Head

- Determine the value of the friction head for a given set of fluid flow conditions.
- Define fully developed turbulent flow and how this affects the friction factor.
- Discuss how the friction head is related to change in velocity and to change in Reynolds number for fully developed turbulent flow.

**Pumps**

Pumps: Introduction

- Define the suction and discharge sides of a pump and where the reference line for elevation is.
- Calculate the hydraulic horsepower of a pump in terms of gpm and psi.
- Calculate the brake horsepower of a pump given the pump efficiency and the head and pressure change in either SI or English units.

Pump Head and Calculations

- Define the four different heads associated with a pumping system.
- Identify the heads associated with static head and describe why they are “static.”
- Define the total developed head and describe how it is used to create a manufacturer’s pump curve.

Pumps: Cavitation and NPSH

- Define cavitation and how it affects pump operation.
- State the equation for calculating NPSH
_{a}and define each of the terms. - State the requirement for NPSH
_{a}relative to NPSH_{r}for proper pump operation. - Discuss how the location of the fluid source with respect to pump centerline affects NPSH
_{a}.

Pumps: Examples of NPSH Calculations

- Calculate the NPSH
_{a}for a given pump layout. - Calculate NPSH
for a given pump suction head and system layout._{r} - Determine minimum fluid level to avoid cavitation.

Pump Performance

- List the five parameters used to specify a pump.
- Describe how pump curves are used to indicate variation of head, efficiency, and bhp with flow rate.
- Discuss how impeller size affects head.

Pump Operation

- Describe how to create a system curve that gives the system head versus system flow rate.
- Calculate the system dynamic head for a flow rate given the system dynamic head at another flow rate.
- Identify the operating point from a given pump curve and system curve.
- Discuss how valve operation affects flow rate and pump operating point.

Pump Calculations: Examples, Part I

- Identify characteristics of pump curves.
- Calculate pump discharge conditions.
- Describe the effect of changes in valve conditions and/or pipe diameters on the system curve.

Pump Calculations: Examples, Part II

*For a given system layout:*

- Calculate head for suction side.
- Calculate head for discharge side.
- Calculate static heads and total developed head (TDH).
- Calculate NPSH
for a given system._{a} - Calculate hydraulic and brake horsepower.

**Heat Exchangers**

Heat Exchangers: Introduction

- Describe how heat exchangers use fluid flow to exchange energy.
- Identify where convective heat flow and where conductive heat flow is used in a heat exchanger.
- Describe the arrangement that creates a double-pipe heat exchanger.
- Define co-current and counter-current flow in a double-pipe heat exchanger.

Overall Heat Transfer Coefficient

- State the equation for overall heat transfer rate in a heat exchanger and identify the factors.
- State the equation for fluid content and show how it is related to overall heat transfer rate.
- Define the overall heat transfer coefficient and describe how it is calculated using the sum of thermal resistances.
- Define fouling and how it affects the overall heat transfer coefficient and overall heat transfer rate.
- Define “clean” and “dirty” in relation to heat transfer rates in a heat exchanger.
- Provide some typical values for fouling resistances.

Log Mean Temperature Difference

- Define LMTD and describe its relationship to heat exchanger efficiency.
- Calculate LMTD for a counter-current-flow heat exchanger.
- Calculate LMTD for a co-current-flow heat exchanger.

Shell-and-Tube Heat Exchangers

- Describe various components of a shell-and-tube heat exchanger.
- Define the characteristics of a multipass shell-and-tube heat exchanger.
- Identify some advantages and disadvantages of a multipass heat exchanger.
- Discuss the importance of shell-side baffles.

Shell-and-Tube Heat Exchanger Parameters

- Describe the various tube layouts commonly used in a shell-and-tube heat exchanger.
- Define tube layout, tube pitch, tube counts, and shell diameter as applied to a shell-and-tube heat exchanger.
- Define Prandtl number and Nusselt number.
- Calculate Nusselt number using either the Dittus-Boelter or Sieder-Tate empirical equations.
- Calculate a film coefficient from the Nusselt number.

Shell-and-Tube Heat Exchanger Example

- Calculate heat transfer rate (HX duty).
- Calculate inlet or outlet temperature of a fluid.
- Calculate LMTD.
- Calculate velocity; Reynolds number; Prandtl number; Nusselt number; and film coefficient,
*h*, for fluid in the tubes. - Calculate outside surface area,
*A*, and the overall heat transfer coefficient,_{o}*U*, for a shell-and-tube heat exchanger._{o}

Shell-and-Tube Heat Exchanger Example Problems

- Evaluate typical parameters applicable to heat exchangers and heat transfer.

**Kinetics**

Delayed Neutrons

- Describe the production of prompt and delayed neutrons through fission.
- Describe the effect of delayed neutrons on the time behavior of a fissile system.
- Define
*β*_{eff}and what causes it to change in different systems containing the same fissile nuclides.

Reactivity and Period

- Describe reactivity and the various ways it can be expressed.
- Define the reactor period and how it relates to reactor power.
- Define doubling time, halving time, and reactor startup rate and the relationships between these and the reactor period.

Point Kinetics and Prompt Behavior

- Describe the impact of effective delayed neutrons on the time behavior of a system.
- State the point kinetics equations and discuss the solution for one effective delayed neutron group.
- Discuss the concept of prompt jump and prompt drop as related to positive and negative changes in system reactivity.
- Describe the significance of the longest-lived delayed neutron group in system behavior for large negative reactivity changes.

System Time Behavior

- Describe the time behavior for negative reactivity changes.
- Describe the time behavior for small positive reactivity changes.
- Describe the time behavior for large positive reactivity changes and the impact of the delayed neutron fraction.
- Define the terms delayed critical, prompt critical, and prompt supercritical.
- Describe the positive and negative feedback mechanisms that affect time behavior for large positive reactivity changes.
- Describe the effects of overmoderation and undermoderation on system time behavior.

Kinetics Example Problems

- Calculate the period, doubling/halving time, and/or SUR for a given reactivity change.
- Calculate reactor conditions after a reactivity change.

Fission Product Poisoning

- Describe how xenon poisoning affects reactor shutdown and startup.
- Identify the typical flux value above which xenon poisoning is important in reactor startup.
- Describe how samarium poisoning affects reactor operation, shutdown, and startup.
- Describe the effects of fission products on absorption during reactor operation.
- Discuss the impact of fission product poisoning on thermal and fast reactors.

Reactivity Coefficients and Transients

- Describe why reactors are designed with negative moderator temperature coefficients.
- Identify the two isotopes that dominate the Doppler effect in thermal reactors and describe how the effect depends on temperature.
- Describe how xenon oscillations occur and their effect on reactor control.
- Define ATWS and how consideration of such transients influences the design of reactors.

**Neutronics and Criticality**

Neutron Balance

- Describe the four ways neutrons can interact in a fissile system.
- Define critical, supercritical, and subcritical systems.
- Define the infinite multiplication factor and the effective multiplication factor.
- Define a reflector and provide examples.
- Describe the neutron life cycle.

One-Group Diffusion theory

- State the one-group diffusion equation and describe the interaction characterized by each of the terms.
- Define the material buckling and geometric buckling and their relationship in critical, supercritical, and subcritical systems.
- State the equation for the one-group infinite multiplication factor.
- State the equation for the material buckling in a fast system.

Modified One-Group Diffusion Theory

- Define the thermalization correction factors for fast leakage, fast fission, and resonance escape.
- State the four- and six-factor formulas and describe the physical process represented by each term.
- State the modified one-group diffusion equation and describe the interaction characterized by each of the terms.
- Define the nonleakage probability.
- Discuss the applicability and limitations of diffusion theory, one-group, and modified one-group.

Neutron Spectrum

- Identify and describe the four regions of neutron energy.
- Describe the characteristics of the fission spectrum.
- Distinguish between a hard and a soft spectrum and describe how moderators are used to create a soft (thermal) spectrum.
- Define the characteristics of a neutron moderator and give examples of typical moderating materials.
- Define a thermal neutron and discuss how it is characterized by a Maxwellian distribution.
- Describe the behavior of the neutron flux in the three main regions of a thermal reactor.
- Describe the typical neutron energy spectra in a fast reactor and in a thermal reactor.

Neutron Cross Sections

- Describe the different neutron interactions, the difference between elastic and inelastic scattering, and the difference between capture and fission events.
- Define neutron cross sections and the factors that affect the probability of neutron interactions.
- Distinguish between microscopic and macroscopic cross sections, and identify the units that apply to each.
- Describe the effects of neutron energy on the probability of the four neutron interactions.
- Discuss the cross-section behavior of a 1/
*v*absorber as the neutron energy decreases from typical fission energies.

Neutron Cross Section Examples

- Calculate interaction rate and interaction probability.
- Calculate macroscopic cross sections for compounds.
- Define mean-free-path and state how it is calculated for a compound.

Buckling Conversion

- Describe the concept of buckling conversion and its use in determining equivalent critical geometries.
- Discuss the impact of shape on the value of extrapolation distance for simple geometries.

Criticality Control

- Identify the nine criticality parameters (MAGIC MERV).
- Describe how the criticality parameters affect neutron production, absorption, and leakage—and hence, k-effective.
- Identify those parameters that are dominant in fast systems and those that are dominant in slow (thermal) systems.
- Define fast and thermal systems and how moderators and reflectors affect the neutron energy in each of these systems.

Criticality Example Problem

- Describe the applicability of one-group and modified one-group diffusion theory to systems containing water or other moderators.
- Discuss the need to correct 2200 m/sec fission and absorption cross sections for Maxwellian distribution, non-1/
*v*behavior, and temperature effects. - Describe how to calculate critical slab thickness using modified one-group theory.

Nuclear Reactions and *Q*-values

- Describe the four parameters that must be conserved in any nuclear reaction including radioactive decay.
- Describe how to calculate the
*Q*-value for any nuclear reaction using mass excess values. - Discuss the impact of the sign of the
*Q*-value on the probability of a radioactive decay equation.

Nuclear Fission

- Define high-
*Z*materials as fissionable, fissile, threshold fissionable, or fertile. - Describe the fission process in terms of energy generated, particles produced, and the partitioning of the energy among the products.
- Calculate the fission rate, rate of
^{235}U consumption, and burnup. - Discuss the yield of fission products from fission.

Fission Products and Decay Heat

- Describe the dominant decay process for fission products.
- Discuss the qualitative behavior of decay heat generation rate after reactor shutdown.
- Discuss the effect of burnup on the creation of actinide isotopes.
- Describe how the presence of actinides impacts the decay heat generation rate.

Inverse Multiplication

- Describe the concept of neutron multiplication as related to count rates from a detector and the effective multiplication factor of a system.
- Describe the inverse multiplication approach for determining critical conditions.
- Discuss the 75% rule and the 50% rule and their applications in approach-to-critical experiments.

*Note: This portion of the program is under construction. Users can find information on these topics in other study resources. *

**Design-Basis Analysis**

Fuel Performance Analysis

*Coming soon.*

Pellet-Clad Interaction

*Coming soon.*

Core Thermal-Hydraulic Analysis

*Coming soon.*

Critical Heat Flux

*Coming soon.*

Departure from Nucleate Boiling

*Coming soon.*

LOCA Transient Analysis

*Coming soon.*

Long-Term Cooling

*Coming soon.*

Non-LOCA Transient Analysis

*Coming soon.*

Containment Performance

*Coming soon.*

Technical Specifications

*Coming soon.*

Safety Analysis Report

*Coming soon.*

Environmental Impact Statement

*Coming soon.*

**Probabilistic Risk Assessment and Severe Accident Analysis**

Probabilistic Risk Assessment: Introduction

- Define risk assessment.
- Define risk in terms of frequency and consequences.
- Identify the three levels of PRA.
- List three elements of a PRA.

Basic Concepts of Probability

- Define what is meant by the probability of an event, the complement of an event, the union of two events, and the intersection of two events.
- Define mutually independent events and mutually exclusive events.
- Define conditional probability for two events.

Probability Operations

- Define the rules of addition of probabilities for mutually exclusive and for non-mutually exclusive events.
- Define the rules of multiplication of probabilities for mutually exclusive events, independent events, and dependent events.
- Define the rule of subtraction for probabilities.

Probability Models

- Describe the difference between combinations of items and permutations of subsets of those items.
- Calculate numbers of combinations or permutations in a given set of items.
- Identify how the binomial distribution is used in PRA analyses and use the equation to calculate probabilities.
- Identify how the Poisson/exponential distribution is used in PRA analyses and use the equation to calculate system reliability.

Event and Fault Trees

- Describe the difference between an event tree and a fault tree.
- Discuss the relationship between the initiating event (IE) and the consequences.
- Discuss the relationship between failure probabilities and the reliability of system equipment.

Fault Tree Example

- Determine a fault tree for an upset in a given operation.
- Using Boolean operations, determine the probabilities for combinations of events.
- Calculate the frequency of an upset event.

PRA Example Problems

- Use the binomial distribution to calculate probability of
*r*failures in*N*trials. - Use concepts of Boolean algebra to calculate the probability of independent failures.
- Calculate the probability of a sequence of events using conditional probability.
- Calculate the probability of failure to start for systems with common-cause failures.
- Define the mean time to failure (MTTF) and how it relates to the reliability of a system.
- Calculate the probability of failure to run for different time periods given the MTTF.

Uncertainty Analysis

*Coming soon.*

Reliability Analysis

*Coming soon.*

Station Blackout

*Coming soon.*

Core Damage Frequency

*Coming soon.*

Risk Mitigation Systems

*Coming soon.*

Severe Accident Phenomena

*Coming soon.*

Last modified March 2, 2022, 1:46pm CST