< Safety and Environmental Management of Nuclear Decommissioning : PGDip (Part Time)

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Safety and Environmental Management of Nuclear Decommissioning

PGDip (Part Time)

Year:13/14
UCAS Code:NONE
Minimum Length:24 Month(s)
Maximum Length:24 Month(s)
Credit Points:120
Director of Studies:Professor MJ Joyce

Educational Aims: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

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Decommissioning and Environmental Clean-up

 
Complex industrial systems inevitably require decommissioning at the end of their useful life.  It is sound engineering practice for this phase to be planned appropriately in advance.  Often, industrial plant are coming to the end of an extensive lifetime, have served several purposes, may be poorly understood and have incomplete histories.  Furthermore, legislation and best practice regarding safety and environmental issues may have changed during this lifetime.
 
Decommissioning activities are often significant engineering projects in their own right.  They often involve heavy engineering practice and result in the production of hazardous waste streams.  Often the way in which plant are decommissioned is a compromise balancing the requirements of environmental legislation, safe practice and economic viability.  Decision making in the process of decommissioning requires a profound knowledge of all of these aspects, in addition to the foundation engineering issues.
 
Lancaster University, in collaboration with the Westlakes Research Institute in Cumbria, has devised a postgraduate scheme of study in Decommissioning and Environmental Clean-up to provide for this burgeoning commercial activity.  The course is focused primarily but not exclusively in the nuclear sector.  The Engineering, Safety and Managerial aspects are provided by the Engineering Department; the Environmental aspects are provided by the Department of Environmental Science at Lancaster and by the Westlakes Research Institute near Whitehaven.  The programme of study is based on six, one-week intensive modules over two years for part-time industrial students.  The modules are provided stand-alone and as part of the PgD and MSc programmes.  The scheme is assessed via examination, team-based coursework and a long, individual project.
 
The course provides knowledge and expertise across the whole field of Decommissioning and Environmental Clean-up, including:
 
-  Strategic Safety Management
-  Operational Safety
-  Robotics and Decommissioning Engineering
-  Nuclear Engineering Systems
-  Environmental Decision Making
-  Environmental Quality Standards
 
 
 

Strategic Safety Management

Aim:

To provide students with knowledge of the management practice that provides the basis for a sound safety culture in organisations, against the backdrop of statistical criteria that characterise such a culture.
Operational Safety

Aim:

To provide students with knowledge of the procedural safety practice within which all organisations are legally required to operate.
 
Decommissioning Technology and Robotics
 
Aim:
To provide students with the ability to design and plan an effective decommissioning campaign
 
Nuclear Engineering Systems

Aim:

To provide students with the supporting engineering knowledge of systems and processes used by the nuclear industry.

  Environmental Quality Standards

Aim: This module will emphasise how to understand and analyse the setting of environmental standards; what problems and issues commonly arise in setting environmental standards in practice; which actors, institutions and techniques are involved; how to understand environmental regulation in different contexts (scientific, economic, democratic, etc.).

 
 
Environmental Decision Making

Aim:

To complement scientific and engineering training focusing on nuclear decommissioning and environmental restoration, by outlining the societal, political, community and stakeholder expectations of such activities.  Using practitioners in environmental science, political science, public perception and governance, the course will benefit from case studies and real examples of this interplay between disciplines.

Learning Outcomes: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

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The course provides knowledge and expertise across the whole field of Decommissioning and Environmental Clean-up, including:
 
-        Strategic Safety Management
-        Operational Safety
-        Robotics and Decommissioning Engineering
-        Nuclear Engineering Systems
-        Environmental Decision Making
-        Environmental Quality Standards
 

Strategic Safety Management

 
At the end of this module students should:
§         Have a good understanding of safety-critical risk and project management;
§         Appreciate the exceptional management requirements of safety-critical environments;
§         Appreciate the increased requirement for accountability and traceability;
§         Understand the influence of legislation on management practice;
§         Understand and be able to apply statistical methods and probabilistic approaches that define acceptable risk.

Syllabus:

§         Project management
§         Change management in a safety culture
§         Accountability
§         Legislative influences
§         Statistical methods and probability
 
Operational Safety

Learning Objectives:

At the end of this module students should:
§         Be aware of and understand the Health and Safety and Work Act (1974) and related aspects of safety law;
§         Be able to prepare safety cases for generic industrial activities;
§         Understand the concept of continuous safety auditing and traceability;
§         Be able to prepare risk assessments;
§         Have developed an ability to assess an industrial activity in terms of legal liability and the requirements of safety law;
§         Understand the distinction between prosecution, liability and concerted learning.

Syllabus:

§         Safety standards
§         Safety case preparation
§         Continuous safety auditing
§         Traceability
§         Risk assessments
§         Legal liability
§         Operating licences
 
Decommissioning Technology and Robotics
 
 
Learning Objectives:
At the end of this module students should:
  • Have knowledge of the range of cutting technologies available for demolition;
  • Understand the concepts of hazardous waste management, minimisation, transport and disposal.
  • Be aware of the range of robotic and remote handling techniques and have developed skills in their selection, integration, simulation, and interfacing.
  • Know about equipment cleaning and surface decontamination
  • Be aware of safety and legal issues in decommissioning
  • Be exposed to techniques of decommissioning project management, assessment, costing and analysis.
 
Syllabus:
§         Strategies for effective decommissioning, together with planning and economics.
§         Techniques for material cutting and waste minimization.
§         Manual techniques, human exposure and protection.
§         Elements of robotic systems together with their integration and control.
§         User interface design and implementation using LabView.
 
Nuclear Engineering Systems

Learning Objectives:

At the end of this module students should:
§         Understand the underlying nuclear science on which the industry is based;
§         Be familiar with the nuclear fuel cycle both in terms of the processes and the engineering procedures involved;
§         Understand the operation of various reactor systems;
§         Appreciate the need for remote handling and manipulation, including familiarity with common features of associated instruments;
§         Understand the importance and relevance of waste management, decommissioning and the environment.

Syllabus:

§         Supporting nuclear technologies
§         The nuclear fuel cycle
§         Reactor systems
§         Remote handling and manipulation
§         Waste management, decommissioning and the environment
§         The use of simulation tools

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Environmental Quality Standards

Learning Objectives:

§         At the end of this module students will have:
  • Familiarity and understanding of key concepts and methods in identifying, monitoring and setting standards for environmental pollutants;
  • Knowledge of key institutions and actors in environmental regulation in the UK and Europe;
  • Knowledge of theoretical literatures supporting the 5 inter-related strands of the course;
  • Ability to synthesize the range of perspectives in the course to analyze complex case studies in pollution regulation;
  • Ability to communicate issues and concepts verbally and to write in clear concise fashion in the case study report.
  • Ability to work in groups to tackle workshop problems and projects.

Syllabus:

  • Pollutant mechanisms: Identification, monitoring and modeling of pollutant emissions sources and sinks. Distribution, removal and accumulation of pollutants in the environment.
  • Toxicology: How toxic responses and indicator organisms are identified, quantified, modeled and monitored.
  • Setting standards: How safety standards are set; how to incorporate uncertainty within standards; how to measure the pollutant-effect relationship using statistical techniques.
  • Risk, regulation and the public. History of the quantification of environmental risks and regulatory policy. How science and regulation handle issues of uncertainty  and ignorance. Public perception of environmental risks.
  • Asset Management. A look at the economic implications associated with compliance to Environmental Quality Standards.
 
 
Environmental Decision Making

 

Learning Objectives:

At the end of this module students should understand and appreciate:
§         The scientific principles and definitions behind risk assessment and its role in risk management and risk communication.
§         The concept of risk as a theme in contemporary society and how risk is influencing public attitudes towards many issues, including science, technology, industry and the policy process itself.
§         Issues in setting discharge limits & environmental quality targets. 
§         The regulatory frameworks & importance of defining endpoints of concern, such as short vs long-term effects. 
§         The nature and significance of attitudes and opinions for the individual, particularly on the processes by which attitudes are formed, including the components of public opinion ? beliefs, attitudes and values.
§         The tools for analysing and interpreting opinion data, including value changes in an advanced industrial society and changes in prevailing value structures in Western societies and how they affect the way individuals approach environmental issues.
§         The emergence of the environment as a significant issue in contemporary political attitudes, including the concept of "nature" as a cultural construct, the dynamics of the relationship between man and the environment and how it has developed over the years.
§         The relationship between man and the environment (from the ethical to the purely expedient) and different packages of beliefs, attitudes and values that stem from them.

Syllabus:

  • Scientific basis of Risk Assessment.
  • Protecting humans or protecting the environment: understanding issues and regulatory frameworks.
  • Basis of Public Opinion: Beliefs, attitudes and values. Tools for interpretation.
  • Public consultation and the role for Governance.
  • Perception of risk in modern society.
  • Scientific methodology for evaluating the "best" overall option: BPEO, BAT and Precautionary Principle.
  • Understanding the balance of qualitative and quantitative factors: Multi-Attribute Utility Analysis (MAUA).
  • Public attitudes towards the natural environment.
  • Attitudes towards environmentally sensitive industries in the energy sector.
  • Relevance of scientific, political and societal realities to plant operators.
 
 
Lancaster University
Bailrigg
LancasterLA1 4YW United Kingdom
+44 (0) 1524 65201