Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The course provides a thorough introduction to reactor physics and the principles underlying the operation of nuclear power reactors, both research reactors and power reactors. In this course we will review the main principles of:

  • Diffusion model for nuclear reactors: neutron transport, one-group and multi-group diffusion models
  • Fission chain reactions, multiplication factor, and nuclear criticality
  • Basics of reactor fuel
  • Numerical and simulation techniques for reactors. Hands-on experience using SCALE 6.2 simulation tools for reactor criticality, burnout analysis, and uncertainty analysis for reactor physics calculations.

Learning outcome

After completing the course:

  • you have basic knowledge of fission chain reactions and nuclear reactors.
  • you have knowledge of phenomena and reactions inside the reactor core. Neutron transport equations in the reactor core and diffusion models for reactor cores.
  • you can simulate a reactor core using Monte Carlo simulation tools and interpret results for a given critical mass.
  • you can conduct a scientific project in nuclear technology. 
  • you have acquired sufficient knowledge to assess the pros and cons of different reactor types and technology in terms of reactor safety.


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


Recommended previous knowledge

Overlapping courses

Information about overlapping courses may not be complete. Contact the Department of Physics if you require more information,


The course comprises 40 hours of lectures and 20 hours of assignments and excursions. Excursions will be to the research reactors at Kjeller (2 MW)  and Halden (20 MW). At the end of the semester, each student is given a semester assignment to simulate a given reactor core or critical mass. A handed-in and approved semester assignment is a prerequisite for graduation. Students will be able to present their results in plenary in front of students and lecturers.

As the teaching involves laboratory and/or field work, you should consider taking out a separate travel and personal risk insurance. Read about your insurance cover as a student.


The semester assignment must be approved in order to take the final exam. The course ends with an oral exam which constitutes 100% of the grade assessment.

Examination support material

No examination support material is allowed.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

This course offers both postponed and resit of examination. Read more:

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Every other autumn starting 2017


Every other autumn starting 2017

Teaching language

Norwegian (English on request)