From 2 November 2020, the autumn semester 2020 will take place online. Exceptions: Courses that can only be carried out with on-site presence.
Please note the information provided by the lecturers via e-mail.

Horst-Michael Prasser: Catalogue data in Autumn Semester 2017

Name Prof. Dr. Horst-Michael Prasser
Professur für Kernenergiesysteme
ETH Zürich, ML K 13
Sonneggstrasse 3
8092 Zürich
Telephone+41 44 632 60 25
DepartmentMechanical and Process Engineering
RelationshipFull Professor

151-0123-00LExperimental Methods for Engineers4 credits2V + 2UT. Rösgen, K. Boulouchos, D. J. Norris, H.‑M. Prasser
AbstractThe course presents an overview of measurement tasks in engineering environments. Different concepts for the acquisition and processing of typical measurement quantities are introduced. Following an initial in-class introduction, laboratory exercises from different application areas (especially in thermofluidics and process engineering) are attended by students in small groups.
ObjectiveIntroduction to various aspects of measurement techniques, with particular emphasis on thermo-fluidic applications.
Understanding of various sensing technologies and analysis procedures.
Exposure to typical experiments, diagnostics hardware, data acquisition and processing.
Study of applications in the laboratory.
Fundamentals of scientific documentation & reporting.
ContentIn-class introduction to representative measurement techniques in the
research areas of the participating institutes (fluid dynamics, energy technology, process engineering)
Student participation in 8-10 laboratory experiments (study groups of 3-5 students, dependent on the number of course participants and available experiments)
Lab reports for all attended experiments have to be submitted by the study groups.
A final exam evaluates the acquired knowledge individually.
Lecture notesPresentations, handouts and instructions are provided for each experiment.
LiteratureHolman, J.P. "Experimental Methods for Engineers", McGraw-Hill 2001, ISBN 0-07-366055-8
Morris, A.S. & Langari, R. "Measurement and Instrumentation", Elsevier 2011, ISBN 0-12-381960-4
Eckelmann, H. "Einführung in die Strömungsmesstechnik", Teubner 1997, ISBN 3-519-02379-2
Prerequisites / NoticeBasic understanding in the following areas:
- fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, heat and mass transfer
- electrical engineering / electronics
- numerical data analysis and processing (e.g. using MATLAB)
151-0163-00LNuclear Energy Conversion4 credits2V + 1UH.‑M. Prasser
AbstractPhyiscal fundamentals of the fission reaction and the sustainable chain reaction, thermal design, construction, function and operation of nuclear reactors and power plants, light water reactors and other reactor types, converion and breeding
ObjectiveStudents get an overview on energy conversion in nuclear power plants, on construction and function of the most important types of nuclear reactors with special emphasis to light water reactors. They obtain the mathematical/physical basis for quantitative assessments concerning most relevant aspects of design, dynamic behaviour as well as material and energy flows.
ContentNuclear physics of fission and chain reaction. Themodynamics of nuclear reactors. Design of the rector core. Introduction into the dynamic behaviour of nuclear reactors. Overview on types of nuclear reactors, difference between thermal reactors and fast breaders. Construction and operation of nuclear power plants with pressurized and boiling water reactors, role and function of the most important safety systems, special features of the energy conversion. Development tendencies of rector technology.
Lecture notesHand-outs will be distributed. Additional literature and information on the website of the lab:
LiteratureS. Glasston & A. Sesonke: Nuclear Reactor Engineering, Reactor System Engineering, Ed. 4, Vol. 2., Springer-Science+Business Media, B.V.

R. L. Murray: Nuclear Energy (Sixth Edition), An Introduction to the Concepts, Systems, and Applications of Nuclear Processes, Elsevier
151-1053-00LThermo- and Fluid Dynamics Information 0 credits2KP. Jenny, R. S. Abhari, K. Boulouchos, C. Müller, H. G. Park, D. Poulikakos, H.‑M. Prasser, T. Rösgen
AbstractCurrent advanced research activities in the areas of thermo- and fluid dynamics are presented and discussed, mostly by external speakers.
ObjectiveKnowledge of advanced research in the areas of thermo- and fluid dynamics
151-2015-00LReactor Technology (EPFL)
No enrolment to this course at ETH Zurich. Book the corresponding module directly at EPFL.
4 credits3GH.‑M. Prasser, external organisers
AbstractBasic heat removal phenomena in a reactor core, limits for heat generation and technological consequences arising from fuel, cladding and coolant properties, main principles of reactor thermal design, as well as the general design of the nuclear power plant with its main and auxiliary systems are explained. The system technology of the most important thermal and fast reactor types is introduced.
ObjectiveBy the end of the course, the student must be able to: (1) Understand design principles of nuclear reactors, (2) Understand purpose and function of main reactor and power plant components and subsystems, (3) assess and evaluate the performance of reactor types, (4) systematize reactor system components, (5) formulate safety requirements for reactor systems
Content- Fuel rod, LWR fuel elements
- Temperature field in fuel rod
- Reactor core, design
- Flux and heat source distribution, cooling channel
- Single-phase convective heat transfer, axial temperature profiles
- Boiling crisis and DNB ratio
- Pressurized water reactors, design
- Primary circuit design
- Steam generator heat transfer, steam generator types
- Boiling water reactors
- Reactor design
- LWR power plant technology, main and auxiliary systems
- Breeding and transmutation, purpose of generation IV systems
- Properties of different coolants and technological consequences
- Introduction into gas-cooled reactors, heavy water moderated reactors, sodium and led cooled fast reactors, molten salt reactors, accelerator driven systems
LiteratureDistributed documents, recommended book chapters
Prerequisites / NoticeRequired prior knowledge: Neutronics
Prerequisite for: Nuclear Safety (2nd sem.)
151-2039-00LBeyond-Design-Basis Safety
Students registered at ETH Zurich have to enroll to this course at ETH. EPFL students can enroll to this course directly at EPFL.
3 credits2VH.‑M. Prasser, L. Fernandez Moguel, B. Jäckel, T. Lind, D. Paladino
AbstractComprehensive knowledge is provided on the phenomena during a Beyond Design Bases Accident (BDBA) in a Nuclear Power Plants (NPP), on their modeling as well as on countermeasures taken against radioactive releases into the environment, both by Severe Accident Management Guidelines (SAMG), together with technical backfitting measures in existing plants and an extended design of new NPP.
ObjectiveDeep understanding of the processes associated with core degradation and fuel melting in case of sustained lack of Core Cooling Systems, potential threats to the containment integrity, release and transport of active and inactive materials, the function of the containment, countermeasures mitigating release of radioactive material into the environment (accident management measures, back-fitting and extended design), assessment of timing and amounts of released radioactive material (source term).
ContentPhysical basic understanding of severe accident phenomenology: loss of core cooling, core dryout, fuel heat-up, fuel rod cladding oxidation and hydrogen production, loss of core coolability and, fuel melting, melt relocation and melt accumulation in the lower plenum of the reactor pressure vessel (RPV), accident evolution at high and low reactor coolant system pressure , heat flux from the molten debris in the lower plenum and its distribution to the lower head, RPV failure and melt ejection, , direct containment heating, molten corium and concrete interaction, in- and ex-vessel molten fuel coolant interaction (steam explosions), hydrogen distribution in the containment, hydrogen risk (deflagration , transition to detonation), pressure buildup and containment vulnerability, countermeasures mitigating/avoiding hydrogen deflagration, formation, transport and deposition of radioactive aerosols, iodine behavior, plant ventilation-filtration systems, filtered venting to avoid containment failure and mitigate activity release into the environment, containment bypass scenarios, source term assessment, in-vessel and ex-vessel corium retention, behavior of fuel elements in the spent fuel pool during long-lasting station blackout, cladding oxidation in air, discussion of occurred severe accidents (Harrisburg, Chernobyl, Fukushima), internal and external emergency response. Probabilistic assessment and interfacing with severe accident phenomenology.
Lecture notesHand-outs will be distributed
Prerequisites / NoticePrerequisites: Recommended courses: 151-0156-00L Safety of Nuclear Power Plants plus either 151-0163-00L Nuclear Energy Conversion or 151-2015-00L Reactor Technology
151-2045-00LDecommissioning of Nuclear Power Plants
Students registered at ETH Zurich have to enroll to this course at ETH. EPFL students can enroll to this course directly at EPFL.
4 credits3GA. Pautz, M. Brandauer, F. Leibundgut, M. Pantelias Garcés, H.‑M. Prasser
AbstractIntroduction to aspects of Nuclear Power Plant decommissioning including project planning and management, costs and financing, radiological characterization, dismantling/decontamination technologies, safety aspects and radioactive waste management considerations.
ObjectiveAim of this course is to provide the students with an overview of the multidisciplinary issues that have to be addressed for the successful decommissioning of NPPs. Students will get exposed to principles of project management, operations management, cost estimations, radiological characterization, technologies relevant to the safe dismantling of NPPs and best-practice in the context of radioactive waste management.
ContentLegal framework, project management and operations methods and tools, cost estimation approaches and methods, nuclear calculations and on-site radiological characterization and inventorying, state-of-the-art technologies for decontamination and dismantling, safety considerations, state-of-the-art practice for radioactive waste treatment, packaging and transport, interface with radioactive waste management and disposal. The course will additionally include student visits to relevant nuclear sites in Switzerland and Germany.
Lecture notesSlides will be handed out.
Literature1. "Nuclear Decommissioning: Planning, Execution and International Experience", M. Laraia, Woodhead Publishing, 2012
2. "Cost Estimation: Methods and Tools", G.M. Mislick and D.A. Nussbaum, Wiley, 2015
3. "The Oxford Handbook of Megaproject Management", B. Flyvbjerg, Oxford University Press, 2017