Introduction to Nuclear Reactor Physics: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Introduction to Nuclear Reactor Physics

1st Edition

By Robert E. Masterson

CRC Press

1,079 pages | 575 Color Illus.

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Hardback: 9781498751483
pub: 2017-12-13
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INTRODUCTION TO NUCLEAR REACTOR PHYSICS is the most comprehensive, modern and readable textbook for this course/module. It explains reactors, fuel cycles, radioisotopes, radioactive materials, design, and operation. Chain reaction and fission reactor concepts are presented, plus advanced coverage including neutron diffusion theory. The diffusion equation, Fisk’s Law, and steady state/time-dependent reactor behavior. Numerical and analytical solutions are also covered. The text has full color illustrations throughout, and a wide range of student learning features.


"As the preface indicates, a modern reactor physics book is long overdue. There are many good classic texts, but that lack the regular up-dates, ease of use or the more extensive nuclear physics introduction required for undergraduate courses. Following a detailed, yet accessible comparison of modern reactor types and a whole chapter introducing the basic nuclear physics underpinning nuclear power generation, this book steadily builds up the tools required by reactor physicists in a clear and non-presumptuous way. The layout is uncluttered and clean, with highlighting used to pick out important equations and concepts. Diagrams are colourful and appropriate. At the end of each chapter many (as many as ~80) short questions are included for students to test their understanding of each section, followed by more involved exercises. A solutions key is stated to be available for faculty members, increasing the usability of this book further. Later chapters deal with multi-group diffusion theory, various 3-D geometries as well as common reactor codes and the essentials of the Monte-Carlo method. These topics are crucial and yet often overlooked in undergraduate texts. Finally, though appendices with useful data are to be expected in a book of this nature, this volume excels with extensive data, common functions and integrals as well as diffusion parameters, attenuation coefficients, rates and cross sections to name a few. What’s also impressive is that on-line sources of public data are given together with details on plotting and visualisation. One point to note, is that there is a companion book on nuclear engineering where much of the radiation transport material located."

Carl Wheldon, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom

Table of Contents

1. Nuclear Power in the World Today

2. Neutrons and Other Important Particles of Reactor Physics

3. Nuclear Particles, Processes, and Reactions

4. Nuclear Cross Sections, Reaction Probabilities, and Reaction Rates

5. Cross Section Libraries and Sources of Practical Nuclear Data

6. Nuclear Fuels, Nuclear Structure, the Mass Defect, and Radioactive Decay

7. Nuclear Fission and Nuclear Energy Production

8. Neutron Slowing Down Theory, Neutron Moderators, and Reactor Coolants

9. The Neutron Multiplication Factor, the Reactivity, and the Four-Factor Formula

10. Neutron Leakage, Reactor Criticality, and the Six-Factor Formula

11. An Introduction to Neutron Diffusion Theory and Fick’s Law of Diffusion

12. Multigroup Neutron Diffusion Theory

13. Solutions to the Steady-State Neutron Diffusion Equation

14. Solving the Neutron Diffusion Equation with a Radioactive Source Term

15. Time-Dependent Reactors and Their Behavior

16. The Point Kinetics Approximation and the Inhour Equation

17. Burnup, Depletion, and Temperature Feedback

18. Long-Term Changes to the Reactivity of the Core

19. Fuel Assembly Homogenization and Reaction Rate Conservation

20. Control Rods, Burnable Poisons, and Chemical Shim

21. Fission Products, Xenon Transients, and Reactor Accidents

22. An Introduction to Neutron Transport Theory

23. The Monte Carlo Method and Its Applications to Nuclear Science and Engineering

About the Author

Dr. Robert E. Masterson holds an M.S. and a PhD (ScD) in nuclear science and engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a B.S. in physics from the University of Notre Dame. The author has published extensively in the Transactions of the ANS (the American Nuclear Society) and has been a member of the society for many years.

Dr. Masterson has also served over the years as Affiliate Professor of nuclear science and engineering at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and has an extensive background in the fields of reactor safety, reactor design and analysis, reactor thermal hydraulics, numerical analysis, reactor physics, reactor dynamics, nuclear medicine, and nuclear particle transport. The author has more than 20 years of experience in the field of nuclear science and engineering and has worked for Westinghouse Nuclear Energy Systems at the Hanford site. He is president of a major technology consulting firm and is also the author of the book "Introduction to Nuclear Reactor Physics", which can also be obtained from CRC Press. In addition to his work in nuclear science and engineering, he has founded and cofounded several companies and has held many noteworthy management, advisory, and strategic positions.

His global email address is , where he welcomes additional feedback and suggestions regarding his books.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Energy
SCIENCE / Nuclear Physics
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Environmental / General