Experimental reactor physiscs

Nuclear Engineering, Second Cycle
1. in 2. year
Hours per week – 1. semester:

Enrollment into the program.

Content (Syllabus outline)

Exercises are provided at the training reactor. Each exercise consists of practical (individual) experimental work and theoretical introduction. Reactor instrumentation with reactivity meter is used to perform all the measurements and exercises.

Basic knowledge of reactor physics, kinetics and radiation detection is required to perform all the exercises. A set of exercises is chosen to match the measurements that are necessary for the operation of a nuclear reactor (including nuclear power plant).

The following exercises are performed:
subcritical multiplication and approach to the critical state
measurement of asymptotic periods and reactivity
response to a step change in the reactivity
calibration of control rod
measurement of the temperature coefficient of reactivity
measurement of the void reactivity coefficient
effect of Xe on reactivity
primary water activation
power profile measurement
pulse experiment
reactor operation
measurement of the fuel element worth


A.Trkov in L. Snoj, Navodila za vaje

Objectives and competences

Performing experiments at the training reactor TRIGA in order to strengthen the knowledge of reactor physics and to gain experience in leading and performing experiments on a nuclear reactor.

Intended learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding:
Understanding the operation of nuclear reactor and basic principles of measurement of reactor physical parameters.
To get the knowledge for performing measurements during the operation of nuclear reactors.
Understanding of the theory and practical experience, critical evaluation of the agreement between the theoretical principles and practical behavior.
Transferable skills:
The use of radiation detectors and nuclear instrumentation.

Learning and teaching methods

Individual experimental work according to written instructions and under the control of the lab leader.


Grading of written reports
Grading of oral report on exercises
grading: 5 (fail), 6-10 (pass) (according to the Statute of UL)

Lecturer's references

Andrej Trkov:
1) TRKOV, Andrej, ŽEROVNIK, Gašper, DESTOUCHES, Christophe, BOURGANEL, Stephane, GREGOIRE, G., GIRARD, Jean Michel. Self-shielding factor calculations of heterogeneous samples in activation measurements for neutron spectrum unfolding. Nucl. Eng. Des.. [Print ed.], 2012, vol. 246, str. 69-74.
2) SNOJ, Luka, TRKOV, Andrej, JAĆIMOVIĆ, Radojko, ROGAN, Petra, ŽEROVNIK, Gašper, RAVNIK, Matjaž. Analysis of neutron flux distribution for the validation of the computational methods for the optimization of research reactor utilization. Appl. radiat. isotopes. [Print ed.], 2011, vol. 69, issue 1, str. 136-141.
3) TRKOV, Andrej, CAPOTE, R., SOUKHOVITSKII, E., LEAL, L.C., SIN, M., KODELI, Ivan Aleksander, MUIR, D.W.đ. Covariances of evaluated nuclear cross section data for [sup]232Th, [sup]180,[sup]182,[sup]183,[sup]184,[sup]186W and [sup]55Mn. Nucl. data sheets (N.Y. N.Y.), 2011, iss. 12, vol. 112, str. 3098-3119.
Luka Snoj
1) SNOJ, Luka, TRKOV, Andrej, RAVNIK, Matjaž, ŽEROVNIK, Gašper. Testing of cross section libraries on zirconium benchmarks. Ann. nucl. energy. [Print ed.], 2012, vol. 42, str. 71-79.
2) SNOJ, Luka, ŽEROVNIK, Gašper, TRKOV, Andrej. Computational analysis of irradiation facilities at the JSI TRIGA reactor. Appl. radiat. isotopes., 2012, vol. 70, str. 483-488.
3) JET EFDA Contributors, SNOJ, Luka, TRKOV, Andrej, LENGAR, Igor, POPOVICHEV, Sergei, CONROY, S., SYME, B. Calculations to support JET neutron yield calibration : Neutron scattering in source holder. Fusion eng. des.., 2012, iss. 11, vol. 87, str. 1846-1852.]