Course designations are as follows:

  • UN 05 – given under the auspices of the Ontario Tech University
  • UN 06 – given under the auspices of the Western University
  • UN 07 – given under the auspices of the University of Waterloo
  • UN 08 – given under the auspices of McMaster University
  • UN 09 – given under the auspices of Queen’s University

Additional courses may be offered in the future, including selected business courses.


Mandatory courses

UN 0502 Nuclear Power Plant Systems and OperationsArrow pointing right

Ontario Tech G. Harvel

System and overall unit operations relevant to nuclear power plants with emphasis on CANDU; includes all major reactor and process systems with nuclear plant simulator; self-study using interactive CD ROM. Students must bring a laptop with Windows XP or Windows 8 to use in class. Two to three class one day meetings will be scheduled.

UN 0802 Nuclear Reactor PhysicsArrow pointing right

McMaster University / B. Rouben / E. Nichita

An introduction to nuclear energy and fission energy systems is presented. The energetics of nuclear reactions, interactions of radiation with matter, radioactivity, design and operating principles of fission are presented. Nuclear reactor physics including chain reactions, reactor statics and kinetics, multigroup analysis, core thermalhydraulics and the impact of these topics on reactor design are covered. Special topics such as xenon dynamics, burnup and reactor flux effects on safety are included.

UN 0803 Nuclear Reactor Safety DesignArrow pointing right

McMaster University / Y. Parlatan

Technology and safety analysis underlying nuclear reactor safety. Topics include: Nature of the hazards; concepts of risk; probability tools and techniques; safety criteria; design basis accidents; case studies; safety analysis technology; human error; safety system design; and general safety design principles.

UN 0804 Nuclear Reactor Heat Transport System DesignArrow pointing right

McMaster University / N. Popov

Fundamentals of single-phase and two-phase flow, and heat and mass transfer. Nuclear power plant primary heat transport system design and calculations, including design description and characteristics of main components and systems. Simulation methodology and tools, including development and qualification of selected thermal-hydraulics computer codes. Course also covers experimental techniques, facilities and results that describe important thermal-hydraulics phenomena. Course topics include: development of conservation equations and relevant constitutive correlations, flow patterns and boiling heat transport regimes, critical heat flux and pressure drop calculations, description of most important computer codes, description of relevant experimental facilities and results, safety margins and operational safety issues and methodologies.

Academic Integrity Mini CourseArrow pointing right

V. Snell

This course was introduced to ensure that all UNENE students understand the concepts behind academic integrity and the penalties that can arise for violating the Academic Integrity Policy. The course is compulsory for all UNENE students.

Elective courses

UN 0501 Nuclear Fuel ManagementArrow pointing right

Ontario Tech / B. Rouben

Topics covered include: Uranium mining and processing for use in nuclear reactors, uranium tails and  mass of natural uranium required for enrichment to various levels, reactivity curve of fuel and its importance, the refuelling process in CANDU, design and capabilities of the fuelling machine, significance of flux/power shape in reactor, how and why to flatten the flux distribution (adjuster rods, differential fuelling), time-average, snapshot, and core-follow models for CANDU reactors, PWR fuel management. Significant hands-on projects for CANDU reactors, with full-core diffusion codes and models. Carrying out actual core-follow calculations in CANDU and selection of channels for refuelling.

UN 0503 Nuclear Energy in Society: Regulations and Energy FutureArrow pointing right

Ontario Tech

This course covers the nuclear regulations in Canada and provides information on the international nuclear regulatory obligations. The course describes the content and process for obtaining construction and operating licenses for nuclear installations. Also, the course describes the objective and content of the Licence Condition Handbook. The course describes the most important CNSC guide and regulatory documents and their implementation in the industry. Also, the course covers the compliance and regulatory reporting.

UN 0504 Small Modular Reactors

Ontario Tech

The course describes the role of the Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) in electricity generation and for special applications in developed and developing countries.  Selected types of SMRs that are relevant and considered for implementation in Canada are described in the course. The course covers the most important design features of selected SMR reactors in each group. The course summarizes the physics, thermalhydraulics, fuel and safety characteristics of the selected SMR designs. Comparison of safety improvements, inherent and passive safety features, and reactor safety margins for different SMR designs are included. 

UN 0601 Control, Instrumentation and Electrical Systems in CANDU based Nuclear Power PlantsArrow pointing right

Western University / J. Jiang

This course covers the basic control, instrumentation and electrical systems commonly found in CANDU based nuclear power plants. The course starts with an overall view of the dynamics associated with different parts of the plant, i.e. reactor, heat transport systems, moderator, steam generator, turbine, and electrical generator. Based on such knowledge, the control and regulation functions in the above systems are then defined. Different instrumentation and measurement techniques are examined, along with control strategies. The time and frequency domain performance characterizations of control loops are introduced with consideration of actuator and sensor limitations. Different controller design and tuning methods and instrumentation calibration procedures are discussed. Two modes of operation of CANDU plants will be analyzed, i.e. normal mode and alternate mode. Advanced control technologies, such as distributed control systems, Field bus communication protocols are introduced in view of their potential applications in the existing and newly constructed CANDU power plants. The electric systems in the CANDU plant will be examined. The modeling of the dynamics and control devices for the generator will be covered in details. The dynamic interaction between the CANDU power plants and the rest of the electric power grid with other generating facilities and various types of load will be studied.

UN 0602 Nuclear Fuel Waste ManagementArrow pointing right

Western University / S. Vijayan

Presently, nuclear fuel waste management involves storage in water pools or dry storage containers at reactor sites. If the fuel is then defined as waste, permanent disposal at an appropriate deep geological site would be considered. This course will describe the physical and chemical properties of the fuel and these approaches to storage and disposal. Key features of the fuel include its chemical and physical structure and properties prior to, and after, in-reactor irradiation, the nature and distribution of radionuclides produced in-reactor, and the chemical and physical properties of the Zircaloy fuel cladding before and after in-reactor exposure. The principles behind pool and dry storage will be described including the design of storage containers and the chemical and corrosion processes that could influence their long-term integrity. The possible permanent disposal scenarios developed internationally will be discussed, with a primary emphasis on those potentially applicable in Canada. For this last topic, the design and fabrication of waste containers and the processes that could potentially lead to their failure, the properties of engineered barriers within the geological site, the essential geological features of the chosen site, and the computational modeling approaches used in site performance assessment calculations will be described.

UN 0603 Project Management for Nuclear EngineersArrow pointing right

Western University

Project Management is emerging as perhaps the key core competency in engineering in the 21st century industrial workplace. This course in Project Management will prepare nuclear engineers in the application of this discipline in their work. It is an intensive investigation into the major principles of Project Management slanted towards, but not exclusively about, the management of nuclear engineering projects. The course uses the Project Management Institute’s PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) as a skeleton and expands that coverage with relevant examples from nuclear, software and general engineering. Special emphasis will be placed on Risk Management, particularly in the area of safety-critical projects. The graduate will be well-positioned both to apply the knowledge in their area of engineering and to sit the PMI’s PMP examination. The course will be taught by a professional engineer holding the PMP certification, using many case studies from industry and engineering.

UN 0701 Engineering Risk and ReliabilityArrow pointing right

University of Waterloo / M. Pandey

This course presents a broad treatment of the subject of engineering decision, risk, and reliability. Emphasis is on (1) the modelling of engineering problems and evaluation of systems performance under conditions of uncertainty; (2) risk-based approach to life-cycle management of engineering systems; (3) systematic development of design criteria, explicitly taking into account the significance of uncertainty; and (4) logical framework for risk assessment and risk-benefit tradeoffs in decision making. The necessary mathematical concepts are developed in the context of engineering problems. The main topics of discussion are: probability theory, statistical data analysis, component and system reliability concepts, time-dependent reliability analysis, computational methods, life-cycle optimization models and risk management in public policy.

UN 0805 Introduction to Operational Health PhysicsArrow pointing right

McMaster University / J. Zic

An introduction to a number of topics that will be encountered in the practice of health physics. The following topics will be discussed: Dose limitation; dosimetric quantities for individuals and populations; ionizing radiation risks and hazards; ICRP-60; internal doses and the compartment model; derived air concentrations and annual limit on intake; metabolic models for respiratory system and GI tract, radiation safety at nuclear reactors, particle accelerators, irradiators, X-Ray installations and laboratories; pathway analysis; derived release limits; environmental monitoring, sample collection and preparation, and sources of radiation; atmospheric transport; cost-benefit analysis; derivation of limits for surface contamination.

UN 0806 Nuclear Fuel EngineeringArrow pointing right

McMaster University / M. Piro

This course covers power reactor fuel design, performance, and safety aspects, and complements other Engineering Physics / UNENE courses on reactor core design, thermohydraulics and reactor safety design. It includes fissile and fertile fuels; burnup effects; fuel production (as well as uranium enrichment and reprocessing of spent fuel), quality assurance and CANDU fuel technical specifications; thermal conductivity; fuel chemistry; fuel restructuring and grain growth; fission product behaviour; fuel defect detection and location; fuel performance in operation; and fuel / fuel channel behaviour in design basis and severe accidents.

UN 0807 Power Plant ThermodynamicsArrow pointing right

McMaster University / R. Chaplin

Thermodynamic Cycles: Nuclear versus conventional steam cycles, regenerative feedwater heating, moisture separation and reheating, turbine expansion lines, heat balance diagrams, available energy, cycle efficiency and energy analysis. Nuclear Heat Removal: Heat conduction and convection in fuel rods and heat exchanger tubes, heat transfer in boilers and condensers, boiler influence on heat transport system, boiler swelling and shrinking, boiler level control, condenser performance. Steam Turbine Operation: Turbine configuration, impulse and reaction blading, blade velocity diagrams, turbine seals and sealing systems, moisture in turbines, part load operation, back pressure effects, thermal effects and turbine governing.

UN 0808 Reactor Chemistry and CorrosionArrow pointing right

McMaster University / W. Cook

Corrosion and its costs, corrosion measurement, general materials and environment affects. Types of corrosion: uniform, galvanic, crevice, pitting, intergranular, selective leaching, erosion-corrosion, stress-corrosion, hydrogen effects. Corrosion testing: materials selection. Electrochemical principles: thermodynamics, electrode kinetics, mixed potentials, practical applications. High temperature corrosion. Nuclear plant corrosion, fossil plant corrosion, other industrial environments.

UN 0901 Nuclear MaterialsArrow pointing right

Queen’s University / M. Daymond, Z. Yao

A nuclear reactor presents a unique environment in which materials must perform. In addition to the high temperatures and stresses to which materials are subjected in conventional applications, nuclear materials are subjected to various kinds of radiation which affect their performance, and often this dictates a requirement for a unique property (for example, a low cross section for thermal neutron absorption) that is not relevant in conventional applications. The effects of the radiation may be direct (e.g., the displacement of atoms from their normal positions by fast neutrons or fission fragments), or indirect (e.g., a more aggressive chemical environment caused by radiolytic decomposition). This course describes materials typically used in nuclear environments, the unique conditions to which they are subjected, the basic physical phenomena that affect their performance and the resulting design criteria for reactor components made from these materials.

Engineering project

If they so elect, candidates for the M. Eng. Degree may do an Engineering Project in an industrial laboratory. This consists of an industry-oriented project under the co-supervision of a suitably qualified staff scientist and a university supervisor. The engineering project counts as two non-core UNENE courses. Read more here.

Refresher courses

These are not-for-credit weekend courses in key areas to help you prepare for the formal UNENE course. They are free to UNENE students and industry employees. View the refresher courses page here.

Chemistry refresherArrow pointing right

The course reviews the basics of chemistry necessary for understanding how and why chemistry is controlled in nuclear reactors.  It is also a precursor to UN 0808 Reactor Chemistry and Corrosion. The level is roughly equivalent to that of a first year undergraduate chemistry class.

Mathematics and modelling refresherArrow pointing right

This mathematics and modelling refresher course will help those who have been away from academia for a number of years. Unused math skills can fade if not used regularly, so this course will bring a greater level of competency. This course is not intended for first-time learners.

Physics refresherArrow pointing right

The course reviews the fundamentals of nuclear and reactor physics. It is a fast-paced review of physics subject matter that students should be familiar with in preparation for the UN 0802 Nuclear Reactor Analysis course. Topics include atomic and nuclear structure, nuclear reactions and radioactive decay, interaction of radiation with matter, neutron interactions, introduction to nuclear power production, linear algebra and vector calculus.

Safety refresherArrow pointing right

This course will suit people working in nuclear energy, and UNENE students, who want training in CANDU safety.

This introductory course serves two purposes:

  1. It provides a stand-alone overview and summary of CANDU reactor safety and safety analysis, drawing concepts from the graduate UNENE UN803 course, CANDU reactor safety design. The topics summarized include hazards of radiation, goal of reactor safety, identifying accidents and calculating their consequences, defence against accidents, safety design and operating principles, shutdown system design, emergency core cooling system design, containment design, safety analysis methodology and a safety analysis example. The introduction alone is not for academic credit, but attendees’ employers may choose to credit it as part of employee training.
  2. It is an introduction to, and presents highlights of, the graduate UNENE course UN 0803. This would benefit UNENE graduate students who plan to take the formal course, as it will expose them to the course’s key ideas.

Thermal hydraulics refresherArrow pointing right

This is a standalone course overviewing the fundamentals of thermal hydraulics and will be useful for a wider group of reactor designers, safety analysts, and nuclear engineers. It is also a preparatory short course for UNENE students who are taking the UN 0804 graduate course on thermal hydraulics design of the reactor’s primary heat transport system.

The course covers the following topics:

  1. Provides fundamentals of mass, momentum, and energy conservation laws; reactor thermodynamics; reactor fluid mechanics; and two-phase flow and heat transfer in the reactor’s primary heat transport system.
  2. Provides an overview of the UN804 full graduate course, including an overview of the primary heat transport system of various reactor types, design objectives and process, design and operation of primary heat transport system components, heat and mass transfer in the reactor core, design and operation of the secondary heat transport system of CANDU and pressurized reactors, concepts of the reactor thermal efficiency, principles of reactor thermal margins, the concept of critical heat flux in the core, the dryout and the post dryout heat transfer, and pressure drop in various components of the primary heat transport system.

Thermodynamics refresherArrow pointing right

This course covers the practical aspects of thermodynamics as it applies to the generation and utilization of steam in a steam cycle of a typical nuclear plant. The basic principles of thermodynamics are applied to such components as steam generators, steam turbines, condensers, feedwater heaters and reheaters. These principles are combined with the fundamentals of heat transfer and fluid mechanics in order to properly assess the performance of plant components. Material for the course has been derived from senior level courses at UNB in the field of power plant engineering which in turn use material from the CANDU operator and shift supervisor training courses.