General Paper

Module Title - General Paper
Number of credits – 20

Module description

Decommissioning

Stages of decommissioning. Government policy and regulatory guidance. Reactor decommissioning- the safestore concept. Decommissioning PIE and other supporting facilities. Radioactive characterization. Decontamination techniques. Dismantling techniques. Radiation protection and safety techniques in decommissioning. Cost estimation and option studies. Financial provision for future decommissioning costs. Examples of typical decommissioning projects. Robotic decommissioning has the benefit of zero operator dose, but at what cost, cost/benefit analysis is a key feature of project management.
Semester 2, contact hours - 6

Environmental Impact of Nuclear Power

Sources of activity from the nuclear fuel cycle: discharges from fuel production plants, nuclear power stations and reprocessing plants during operation and decommissioning. Dispersal of radioactive material and radiological consequences of the Chernobyl and other reactor accidents; comparison with other accidents. Nuclear waste disposal: role of BNFL and NIREX in the UK; current operations and future plans for handling radioactive waste.
Semester 2, contact hours - 4.

Financial Appraisal of Projects

Capital investment. Product identification. Appraisal methods: rate of return, payback, time value of money, discounted cash flow, net present value, internal rate of return, sensitivity analysis. Examples and case studies.
Semester 2, contact hours - 6.

Industrial Lecture Series

This series draws on industrial speakers to cover specialised topics of interest (examples include decommissioning, reactor circuit chemistry and stress analysis) to give details of how current problems in materials, safety and design are being tackled, and to give some insight into the structure and mode of operation of the nuclear industry. The organisations providing speakers usually include Nuclear Electric, Magnox Electric, BNFL, National Nuclear Corporation and Rolls Royce and Associates.
Semester 2 and summer term, contact hours - 18.

Reactor Materials

Laboratory work plus Seminar, Formal written Report, and Oral. Description Radiation Damage: The damage event: basic physics of charged particles/solid interactions – Kinchin and Pease model. The displacement cascade and point defect residues. Formation of secondary defects. Microstructural development: time and temperature dependence. Radiation Damage in Reactor Materials: Effect on mechanical properties: strength, toughness, fatigue and creep resistance. Radiation induced segregation and precipitation. Case studies: pressure vessel steel, stainless steel, uranium dioxide, graphite.
Semester 2, labs in summer, contact hours - 20.