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LEC.469: Environmental Radioactivity

Department: Lancaster Environment Centre NCF Level: FHEQ/QCF/NQF7//RQF7
Study Level: Postgraduate (Masters level) Credit Points: 15
Start Date: 12-01-2015 End Date: 20-03-2015
Available for Online Enrolment?: Y Enrolment Restriction: Fully available to all students
Module Convenor: Dr JM Pates

Syllabus Rules and Pre-requisites

Curriculum Design: Outline Syllabus

  • Lectures:

    Introduction to radioactivity.

    Radioactive decay and ingrowth.

    Interactions of radiation with matter.

    Human radiation dose & detriment.

    The effects of ionising radiation.

    Radiation protection in the UK.

    Sources of radioactivity in the environment.

    The nuclear fuel cycle.

    Nuclear waste management.

    Behaviour of radioactive contaminants in the marine environment

    Behaviour of radioactive contaminants in the terrestrial environment

    Workshops: 1-3: Calculation methods workshops.


    Radioactive decay and ingrowth.

    Radiation dose estimation.

    Radon in homes.

    Seminars: 1-4: The impact of the Fukushima accident


Curriculum Design: Pre-requisites/Co-requisites/Exclusions

  • Pre-requisites: Basic maths or LEC.460

  • 50% Exam
  • 50% Coursework

Assessment: Details of Assessment

  • Assessment:                CWA:     50%                         Exam:  50%

    Details of Coursework:
    Review paper (40%), short ‘New Scientist’ style article (10%)

Learning Outcomes: Subject Specific: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

  • On completion of this module students should be able to: 


    •   Manipulate and solve basic radioactive decay law equations.
    •   Use a range of standard resources (e.g. Web of Knowledge) to research a problem.
    •   Prepare reports for different audiences (popular science, review paper).

    Subject Specific

    • Identify the sources of natural and artificial radioactivity in the environment.
    • Explain the main processes by which radionuclides are distributed through the environment.
    • Apply the principles of dose assessment to determine the impact of environmental exposure to radioactivity.

Contact Information

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