• Offered by School of Engineering
  • ANU College ANU College of Engineering Computing & Cybernetics
  • Course subject Engineering
  • Areas of interest Physics, Engineering, Nuclear Physics
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • STEM Course

Nuclear systems have many beneficial uses, ranging from medical imaging and cancer treatment to environmental monitoring – but the benefits these systems offer come with risks. For some nuclear systems, these risks – if not managed effectively – can have far-reaching and enduring impacts on society and the environment. This course will introduce a wide range of nuclear technologies being used in industry, medical and defence settings today. Students will develop expertise in some of the foundational nuclear physics and engineering knowledge required to design, operate, maintain and decommission such systems. Students will also learn how to consider nuclear systems using techniques from systems theory to identify potential risks stemming from technological, sociocultural, regulatory, and environmental factors shaping -- and being shaped by -- nuclear systems, and will learn how to integrate this view into engineering- and science-informed professional practice via individual and group assessments. Nuclear reactors will be heavily emphasized in the curriculum because of their significant risk profile, but the principles and practices introduced in the course will be applicable for engineering practices applicable to a broad range of nuclear systems.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Apply systems science techniques and fundamental nuclear science and engineering knowledge to the nuclear systems life cycle to identify safety, security, and responsibility considerations stemming from technological, sociocultural, regulatory, environmental, or economic factors shaping such systems;
  2. Evaluate near- or long-term risks and benefits arising from the operation, maintenance and decommissioning of nuclear systems;
  3. Design simple models of nuclear systems through the application of fundamental nuclear science and engineering principles;
  4. Assess current and upcoming nuclear systems and identify context-dependent safety, security and safeguards considerations (near and long-term) that may arise from their design; 
  5. Construct approaches for achieving ‘safety-by-design’ in nuclear systems; and
  6. Critically review individual professional responsibilities inherent in working with nuclear systems and their potential to influence on safe and responsible design, operations, maintenance, and decommissioning.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Assignments (40) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  2. Lab or simulation reports (20) [LO 1,2,4,5,6]
  3. System design project (40) [LO 1,2,4,5,6]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


130 hours per semester consisting of the following activities:

·      Face-to-face component which may consist of  12 x 2 hour lectures per week (24 hours across the semester)

·      Labs or simulation exercises, consisting of 4 x 4 hours per workshop (16 hours across the semester)

·      Approximately 90 hours of self-directed study and independent work on assessment tasks

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

To take this course, students must successfully complete all of the following courses: PHYS1001 (Foundations of Physics) or PHYS1101 (Physics 1) MATH1013 (Mathematics and Applications 1) or MATH1115 (Advanced Maths and Applications 1) MATH1014 (Mathematics and Applications 2) or MATH1116 (Advanced Maths and Applications 2) ENGN2222 (Engineering Thermodynamics) ENGN2228 (Signals and Systems)

Prescribed Texts


Preliminary Reading

Selections from:

Lamarsh, J & Baratta, A 2017. Introduction to Nuclear Engineering, 4th edition, Pearson.

Meadows, DH 2008. Thinking in Systems: A Primer, Chelsea Green Publishing.

Doyle, JE 2008. Nuclear Safeguards, Security and Nonproliferation: Achieving Security with Technology and Policy, Elsevier, Oxford UK.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

There are no current offerings for this course.

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