Syllabus for NUC-303



Nuclear Physics for Technology provides students with fundamental concepts of atomic and nuclear physics, nuclear reactor physics, and nuclear reactor operations. It includes a background in atomic and nuclear physics, nuclear reactions and elementary particle interactions, as well as considerations for nuclear reactor design, reactor control, and reactor operations.


After completing this course, you should be able to:


You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. These textbooks are available online and can be downloaded yourself.

Required Textbooks


Nuclear Physics for Technology is a three-credit online course, consisting of six (6) modules. Modules include topics, learning objectives, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below.







For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, take online timed quizzes, complete written assignments, and write a Final Paper. See below for more details.

Consult the course Calendar for due dates.

Discussion Forums

Nuclear Physics for Technology requires you to participate in three (3) graded discussion forums. There is also an ungraded but required Introductions forum in Module 1. All class discussions take place on the class Discussion Board.

Communication and collaboration among fellow students and with the mentor is a critical component of online learning. Participation in online discussions involves two distinct activities: an initial response to a discussion question and subsequent comments on classmates' responses. Meaningful participation is relevant to the content, adds value, and advances the discussion. Comments such as "I agree" and "ditto" are not considered value-adding participation. Therefore, when you agree or disagree with a classmate, the reading, or your mentor, state and support your agreement or disagreement. You will be evaluated on the quality and quantity of your participation, including your use of relevant course information and your awareness of and responses to the postings of your classmates. Remember, these are discussions. Responses and comments should be properly proofread and edited, professional, and respectful.

Written Assignments/Problem Sets

You are required to complete eight (8) written assignments/problem sets. The problem sets will reflect the assigned reading material associated with the course module.

Assignments must be prepared electronically, using a word processor and whatever equation editor comes with your word processing software. However, if your word processor is not compatible with your mentor's word processor, you will need check with your mentor first to determine any alternative. (Note: You may submit the scanned hand-written solutions if your mentor allows this option.)


You are required to complete eleven (11) online quizzes. There are two quizzes per module, except for module 2, in which there is only one quiz. The quizzes will reflect the assigned reading material associated with the course module. Each quiz has 10 to 20 multiple choice questions. The quizzes are timed, 2 hours each.Two hours are allotted because some questions require numerical calculations (no more than 2-step calculations).

Final Paper

In lieu of a final exam, you are required to complete a final paper.

Your final research paper shall be 6-8 pages long. You are required to discuss the design and operation considerations of a thermal or fast reactor system. Design and operation considerations include fuel management, reactor control, and maintenance considerations, as well as costs and operating histories, including reliability concerns. The final paper entails two stages:

Stage 1: Submit a 1–2 page paper outline (worth 2 percent of your course grade) that includes technical information of a reactor system: type of reactor, type of fuel, type of moderator, type of coolant, and safe shutdown systems. The outline should list two key references you will be using in the reference list, and include a schematic of the vessel internals.

Stage 2: Complete and submit the final paper (worth 16 percent of your course grade).

Please see the Final Paper areas of the course Web site for further details.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

Stage 1: Outline—2 percent

Stage 2: Final paper—16 percent

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:






























Below 60

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a nonarea of study course), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings, etc.).


First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:


Students at Thomas Edison State College are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.


Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State College expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the College insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:

Please refer to the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the College Catalog and online at




Using someone else’s work as your own is plagiarism. Thomas Edison State College takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing will be severely penalized. If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying it as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > “Citing Sources.”)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance and originality report checking, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism 

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

Originality Report Checking at Turnitin


Disciplinary Process

First-time incidents of academic dishonesty concerning plagiarism may reflect ignorance of appropriate citation requirements. Mentors will make a good faith effort to address all first-time offenses that occur in courses. In these cases, the mentor may impose sanctions that serve as a learning exercise for the offender. These may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool including a lower grade when appropriate. The mentor will notify the student by e-mail. Decisions about the sanctions applied for subsequent plagiarism offenses or other violations will be made by the appropriate dean’s office, with the advice of the mentor or staff person who reported the violation. The student will be notified via certified mail of the decision. Options for sanctions include:

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