Programme And Module Handbook
Course Details in 2021/22 Session

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Module Title LM Nuclear Radiation, Dosimetry and Shielding, and the Nuclear Fuel Cycle
SchoolPhysics and Astronomy
Department Physics & Astronomy
Module Code 03 33160
Module Lead Dr Paul Norman
Level Masters Level
Credits 20
Semester Semester 1
Restrictions None
Contact Hours Lecture-60 hours
Tutorial-10 hours
Guided independent study-130 hours
Total: 200 hours
Description This module is designed to equip students with a detailed understanding of the ways in which ionising radiation interacts with matter, methods used for detecting radiation and processing the resulting signals, concepts of radiation dosimetry, and the principles of radiological protection based on an understanding of the effects of radiation on biological systems. It includes an introduction to statistical methods. Student will be introduced to material science with particular reference to metallurgy of reactor materials, leading to an understanding of radiation induced damage to them and the reasons and techniques for carrying out non-destructive testing. Reactor systems and safety analysis covers all designs of operational power reactors, with in-depth analysis of advantages and limitations. An introduction to the economics of nuclear power generation and reactor safety is given along with aspects of the holistic nuclear fuel cycle.
Learning Outcomes By the end of the module students should be able to:
  • Understand the processes by which the various types of ionising radiation interact with matter and how these can be exploited in detectors;
  • Understand the construction and operation of the principal types of detector used in conventional nuclear physics;
  • Identify appropriate detector systems for particular applications and predict the expected response;
  • Understand the significance of the various stages of nuclear pulse processing, and the principal types of circuitry employed;
  • Know the definitions of basic dosimetric quantities and the differences between them;
  • Understand the significance of charged-particle equilibrium, the Fano theorem and the Bragg-Gray theorem;
  • Be familiar with practical methods of determining dose;
  • Be aware of the different effects (both deterministic and stochastic) of ionising radiation on human populations;
  • Understand the bases of national/international regulations covering work with ionising radiations;
  • Appreciate the importance of statistical techniques in interpreting experimental data; Know how to use common statistical tests;
  • Explain the fundamental physics behind material behaviour, i.e. strength, toughness, creep, fatigue resistance and corrosion;
  • Understand the metallurgy of reactor materials;
  • Understand the reasons and nature of radiation damage on reactor materials and the consequences with relation to mechanical property degradation;
  • Explain the reasons for and techniques of non-destructive testing, with application in nuclear power technology;
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the limitations and advantages of each NDT method;
  • Show an in-depth knowledge of the different types of nuclear power reactor, with examples of fuel, moderator, coolant and containment design;
  • Understand the safety implications of each reactor design and explain the rationale behind plant layout;
  • Demonstrate an advanced knowledge of reactor safety analysis, including faults leading to reactor accident scenarios;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the physics and chemistry behind fuel production from ore to final fuel product, including enrichment technology and reprocessing operations at THORP.
Assessment 33160-01 : Examination : Exam (Centrally Timetabled) - Written Unseen (50%)
33160-02 : Class Test : Class Test (50%)
Assessment Methods & Exceptions Assessment:
3 hour written unseen examination (100%).

Examination in the supplementary period
Reading List