Dr. Eric Lowen

Nuclear Engineering

Phone: 919-515-0224
Instructor Website

NE 591 Advanced Reactor Theory & Concepts

3 Credit Hours

Historic overview and current concepts of advanced nuclear reactors. Neutronics, thermal-hydraulics, and fuel performance analysis of advanced reactors. Reactor plant system and basic operations. Technological roadmap and policy issues. Computational methods for advanced reactor design and analysis.


NE 301 Fundamentals of Nuclear Engineering and NE 401 Reactor Analysis and Design or equivalent.

Course Objectives

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

  • Understand the fundamentals of advanced reactor designs and their characteristics.
  • Obtain in-depth knowledge of three types of advanced reactors: metal-cooled reactors, molten salt reactors, and high-temperature gas-cooled reactors.
  • Develop a working knowledge of the characteristics of advanced reactors from the perspective of reactor physics, thermal-hydraulics, and fuel performance.
  • Gain experience in performing reactor core design for advanced reactors using advanced modeling and simulation tools.
  • Have knowledge of regulations and policies for advanced reactors.
  • Understand the basics of nuclear fuel design and performance in advanced reactors.
  • Understand the cost component associated with the advanced nuclear reactor and associated advanced fuel cycle.

Course Requirements

The final grade in the course is based on

  • Homework: Six assignments
  • Computer project: One assignment on advanced reactor design and analysis
  • Term paper and presentation: Two assignments on innovative advanced reactor design as well as economics and policy related to advanced reactor installation


Required: Course materials provided by the instructor

Fast Spectrum Reactors, 2nd Edition. Alan E. Waltar, Donald R. Todd,

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: 11/08/2022