Eng Phys 4P03/6P03

Nuclear Power Plant Systems & Operation

Term II – 2015/2016

Instructor: Dr. B. Rouben

Prerequisite: Registration in Level IV or above of any Engineering program

Jason Sharpe

Course Web Page:

Course Outline:
This CANDU Overview course includes: material on the science of the fission chain reaction and nuclear reactors; material on CANDU power-plant systems and their operation; self-study of the text and course material; problem-solving assignments to reinforce the understanding and application of the course material; operation of a CANDU-9 power-plant simulator. The CANDU-9 power-plant simulator was produced by CTI Simulation International (visit their site to see some screen shots).Their contribution is gratefully acknowledged.

Course Text:
This course is, to a large extent, a self-study course. Students will receive a CD-ROM with the full course contents and supporting documentation. Includes audio and interactivity. The CD for this course is not available for general distribution. Further inquiries should be directed to the author, Dr. George Bereznai, whose contribution and generosity is gratefully acknowledged.

Course Methodology:
Self-paced study on interactive CD-ROM. One contact period per week will be scheduled in general, for lectures and general discussion. Assignments and feedback by e-mail. The instructor and teaching assistant will be available by e-mail to assist you with the lecture material or problems.

Note: 6P03 students will be assigned an extra project, worth 20% out of 120%.

Learning Outcomes:
At the successful completion of this course the participants will be able to:

  • Describe and explain the following features of a CANDU Generating unit:
    • the principles of overall unit operation and control
    • the functions, equipment and operation of the main process systems
    • how each major system is controlled
    • how reactor safety and the protection of the public are achieved
  • Conduct normal and abnormal operations on a simulated CANDU-9 Generating unit, including: power manoeuvres, poison override operation, recovery from a reactor trip or a turbine trip, responses to various system malfunctions.
  • Design software to follow the evolution of 135Xe concentration and reactivity.

Effort & Timing:
A graduate course nominally requires 10 hours per week for 1 full term, for a total of 130 hours in all.

Marking Scheme:

Weekly Assignments 25%
Midterm Examination 20%
Midterm Project 15%
Final Written Exam 40%
Additional project for graduate students (6P03) only 20%

The instructor and university reserve the right to modify elements of the course during the term.  The university may change the dates and deadlines for any or all courses in extreme circumstances.  If either type of modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes.  It is the responsibility of the student to check their McMaster email and course websites weekly during the term and to note any changes.