Systems Analysis of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle

Diagram showing how a nuclear power plant reactor processes waste. As particles and radiation move through a power plant, the plant takes special precautions to protect the environment from these hazards.

Flow diagram showing how a nuclear power plant reactor processes waste and filters clean water to the reactor cooling system. (Photo courtesy of U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.)


MIT Course Number


As Taught In

Fall 2009



Cite This Course

Course Description

Course Features

Course Description

This course provides an in-depth technical and policy analysis of various options for the nuclear fuel cycle. Topics include uranium supply, enrichment fuel fabrication, in-core physics and fuel management of uranium, thorium and other fuel types, reprocessing and waste disposal. Also covered are the principles of fuel cycle economics and the applied reactor physics of both contemporary and proposed thermal and fast reactors. Nonproliferation aspects, disposal of excess weapons plutonium, and transmutation of actinides and selected fission products in spent fuel are examined. Several state-of-the-art computer programs are provided for student use in problem sets and term papers.

Other Versions

Related Content

Mujid Kazimi, and Edward Pilat. 22.251 Systems Analysis of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle. Fall 2009. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

For more information about using these materials and the Creative Commons license, see our Terms of Use.