Nuclear Engineering Reading List

By Nick Touran, Ph.D. P.E., 2021-05-24

This is a curated (and open-source) directory of reading material that may be interesting for people just getting into nuclear technology.

Open source You can edit this page on github

General Textbooks

Oldies but goodies.


Introduction to Nuclear Reactor Theory

A classic introductory level textbook often taught in the first nuclear engineering class that nuclear engineering students take. The old version is available but the third edition is much more common.

Duderstadt & Hamilton

Nuclear Reactor Analysis (1976)

The classic senior undergraduate nuclear engineering textbook covering the basics of reactor physics, neutron transport calculations, thermal/hydraulics, and plant design. Often taught to the senior class of nuclear engineering students.

Bell and Glasstone

Nuclear Reactor Theory (1970)

A graduate-level classic textbook describing the physical concepts and mathematical methods used to predict the behavior of neutrons in nuclear reactors.

Academic Reports


The Future of Nuclear Energy in a Carbon-Constrained World (2018)

A relatively modern analysis of the nuclear industry

Open-access publications

Yang, W.S.

Fast Reactor Physics and Computational Methods (2012)

An excellent overview of fast reactor physics and computational methods from a legendary author

Technology-specific resources

There are lots of compilations of info on various subsets of nuclear technology


Advances in Small Modular Reactor Technology Developments (2020)

Modern info about small modular reactors

Dietrich and Zinn

Solid Fuel Reactors

A highlight from the 1958 Atoms for Peace conference, this book details solid fuel breeder reactors including Fermi-1, EBR-1, and EBR-2.

Starr and Dickinson

Sodium Graphite Reactors

A highlight from the 1958 Atoms for Peace conference, this book details sodium-cooled, slow neutron reactors intended to achieve passive low-pressure safety, high temperature efficiency, and operate on very low enriched or natural uranium.


Fluid Fuel Reactors

A highlight from the 1958 Atoms for Peace conference, this book details fluid fueled reactors like aqueous homogeneous reactors and molten salt reactors.

History books

Nuclear technology has a rich history with many fascinating developments. There are dozens upon dozens of deep-dive references in the reference section of our nuclear reactor development history page. But we’ll put some here too.

Hewlett and Holl

Atoms for Peace and War (1990)

A phenomenal deep-dive into the history of nuclear enterprise in the USA. See also Many related publications at the DOE historical publications page

Other educational websites

  • CANTEACH — An epic collection of freely available information about CANDU reactors

Other reading lists