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Dr. Benjamin Beeler

Nuclear Engineering

Phone: 919-515-3737
Instructor Website
Research Website

NE 533 Nuclear Fuel Performance

3 Credit Hours

In this course we will study the basic role of fuel in reactor operation and understand how the fuel impacts heat generation and transport to the coolant. The course will begin with an overview of different fuels and the fabrication processes required to construct nuclear fuel. This will include various fuel types and geometries, with a focus on light water reactor fuel and cladding. Thermal transport, mechanics, and thermomechanics affecting fuel behavior will be introduced, and methods to solve the governing equations numerically and analytically will be developed. Subsequently, changes in the fuel and cladding material that degrade the performance of the fuel will be examined. Finally, the knowledge gained throughout the course will be utilized to conduct fuel performance simulations with MOOSE.


Nuclear Materials (NE 409) or equivalent

Course Requirements


Exam 1 20%
Exam 2 20%
Exam 3 20%


Presentation Report 1 15%
Final Project 25%

Course Topics

Course schedule is subject to change with appropriate notification of students.

  1. Introduction and Overview
  2. Fuel types, Heat generation, Reactor systems, Fuel fabrication, Heat transport – 4 weeks
  3. Mechanical behavior, Thermomechanics, Materials issues in the fuel – 4 weeks
  4. Materials issues in the clad, Advanced fuels materials issues – 4 weeks
  5. Overview and utilization of fuel performance codes – 2 weeks



Computer and Software Requirements

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

Updated: 10/06/2021