Dr. Jason Hou

Dr. Jason Hou

Phone: 919-513-6705
Instructor Website

NE 512 Nuclear Fuel Cycles

3 Credit Hours

Processing of nuclear fuel with description of mining, milling, conversion, enrichment, fabrication, irradiation, shipping, reprocessing, and waste disposal. In-core and out-of-core nuclear fuel management, engineering concepts and methodology. Fuel cycle economics, fuel cost calculation, and discussions of advanced fuel cycles. Computational methods for reactor design and analysis.


Reactor Analysis and Design (NC State 401/501) or Radiation and Reactor Fundamentals (NC State NE 520)

Course Objectives

Upon satisfactory completion of this course, students should be able to:

  • Understand technical aspects of all stages of the nuclear fuel cycle for both open and closed fuel cycles.
  • Gain in-depth knowledge of in-core and out-of-core nuclear fuel management strategy.
  • Gain experience in performing reactor core design for light water reactors.
  • Learn how to apply machine learning algorithms to in-core fuel management optimization. Students will understand how computational methods work for reactor simulations.
  • Develop a working knowledge of characteristics of light water reactors and fast reactors from the perspective of reactor physics, thermal-hydraulics, and fuel performance.
  • Understand the cost component associated with the nuclear fuel cycle and how to perform fuel cost estimation.
  • Understand the fundamentals of various procedures of the front end of the nuclear fuel cycle. Students will gain knowledges of design concepts of fuel enrichment modules and facilities.
  • Have knowledge of regulations and standards for nuclear waste.

Course Requirements

The final grade in the course is based on

  • Homework: Six assignments
  • Exams (Take Home): Two Midterms + Final
  • Computer project: Nuclear reactor loading pattern optimization
  • Term paper and presentation: One assignment on advanced fuel cycles



Nuclear Fuel Cycle: Analysis and Management, 2nd Edition. Robert G. Cochran and Nicholas Tsoulfanidis, American Nuclear Society, 1999.

ISBN-13: 978-0894484513

ISBN-10: 0894484516

Computer and Software Requirements

Please review minimum computer specifications recommended by NC State University and Engineering Online.

Ability to remotely access NC State University computing cluster.

Updated 7/8/2020