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Fuel cycle, waste and decommissioning

01TWRND

A.A. 2022/23

Course Language

Inglese

Course degree

Master of science-level of the Bologna process in Ingegneria Energetica E Nucleare - Torino

Course structure
Teaching Hours
Lezioni 44
Esercitazioni in aula 16
Teachers
Teacher Status SSD h.Les h.Ex h.Lab h.Tut Years teaching
Testoni Raffaella   Ricercatore a tempo det. L.240/10 art.24-B ING-IND/19 20 10 0 0 1
Teaching assistant
Espandi

Context
SSD CFU Activities Area context
ING-IND/19 6 B - Caratterizzanti Ingegneria energetica e nucleare
2022/23
A European nuclear and energy engineer looking for a job in his/her actual field of specialization will probably find it in the area of nuclear fuel cycle, waste and decommissioning. In the EU, these topics gather most of the nuclear-related planned activities in the short and medium term. The process of fabricating fuel (front end of the fuel cycle) includes different steps from uranium ore exploration and mining to fabrication of fuel assemblies. While uranium mining activities are limited in the EU, abundant uranium resources are available worldwide. European companies rank among the world's major producers of nuclear fuel. Major investments have been made in the past in conversion and enrichment capabilities and fuel fabrication, and the focus in the coming years will be on modernising them in order to maintain EU technological leadership. The back-end of the fuel cycle will need increasing levels of attention: it is estimated that more than 50 of the 129 reactors currently in operation in the EU are to be shut down by 2025/2030. Based on the latest information provided by Member States, the largest 20 European nuclear operators estimated that nuclear decommissioning, radioactive waste management and disposal will be “the main question” until 2050 in the EU. This course is tailored to enable the student to get knowledge and skills in all the above topics. Aspects dealing with peculiar Italian nuclear legislation and situation will be dealt with. Aspects dealing with nuclear non-proliferation and safeguards – essential activity of the IAEA – will be examined too
In the EU, nuclear fuel cycle, waste and decommissioning topics gather most of the nuclear-related planned activities in the short and medium term. The process of fabricating fuel (front end of the fuel cycle) includes different steps from uranium ore exploration and mining to fabrication of fuel assemblies. While uranium mining activities are limited in the EU, abundant uranium resources are available worldwide. European companies rank among the world's major producers of nuclear fuel. Major investments have been made in the past in conversion and enrichment capabilities and fuel fabrication, and the focus in the coming years will be on modernising them in order to maintain EU technological leadership. The back-end (reprocessing and waste management) of the fuel cycle will need increasing levels of attention: it is estimated that more than 50 of the 129 reactors currently in operation in the EU are to be shut down by 2025/2030. Based on the latest information provided by Member States, the largest 20 European nuclear operators estimated that nuclear decommissioning, radioactive waste management and disposal will be “the main question” until 2050 in the EU. This teaching is tailored to enable the student to get knowledge and skills in all the above topics. Aspects dealing with peculiar Italian nuclear legislation and situation will be dealt with. Aspects dealing with nuclear non-proliferation and safeguards – essential activity of the IAEA – will be examined too. A Nuclear and Energy Engineer looking for a job in his/her actual field of specialization will probably find it in the area of nuclear fuel cycle, waste and decommissioning.
The aim of the Course is to meet the needs of students at graduate level, to acquire knowledge and training in nuclear fuel cycle, waste and decommissioning field. The course also aims to provide the necessary basic tools for those who will become professionals in the waste management field, and the safeguards implementation too. It is designed to provide both theoretical and practical training in the multidisciplinary scientific and/or technical bases of national and international recommendations and standards in such fields. At the end of the course the students should be able to address all the front-end and back-end technologies in the nuclear field: “outside the nuclear reactor, it is all my business”.
At the end of the course the students should be able: • to address the front-end and back-end technologies in the nuclear field: “outside the nuclear reactor, it is all my business”. • to understand and interpret the basic tools to be applied in the waste management field, and the safeguards implementation. • to discuss and debate both theoretical and practical aspects in the multidisciplinary scientific and/or technical bases of national and international recommendations and standards in the fuel cycle, waste and decommissioning fields.
Good knowledge of nuclear power plants and radiation protection.
Good knowledge of nuclear power plants and radiation protection.
• Front-end: nuclear mining, uranium enrichment and fuel fabrication. • Spent fuel management • Disused sealed radioactive sources • Fundamentals of radioactive waste disposal. Near surface disposal. Borehole disposal. Geological disposal • Preparation for decommissioning. Decommissioning implementation • Fundamentals of environmental remediation. Planning for environmental remediation • National and International legislation in the nuclear field • Safeguards and non-proliferation aspects • Almost natural: NORM and TENORM • Fuel cycle and waste management for fusion reactors.
The main topics dealt with the course will be: • Front-end: nuclear mining, uranium enrichment and fuel fabrication. • Back-end: reprocessing, waste management, and environmental impact. • Decommissioning and environmental remediation. • Safeguards and non-proliferation aspects. • Fuel cycle and waste management for fusion reactors. The exercises dealt with the course will be: • Exercise on the environmental impact. • Exercise on safeguards and non-proliferations.
Lectures and practical part in times of COVID emergency The instructor guarantees, following the Politecnico's guidelines, that it will be possible to attend all theoretical lessons remotely, and they will be recorded and available on the course website. If the emergency situation will permit it, lessons could be given in mixed mode: in presence (for those students able to be in the classroom), with the possibility to attend remotely, and recorded. The same applies to the practical part, but here students will be divided into small groups in order to carry on the practical part in mixed mode anyway.
The theoretical lectures are completed by a practical part, dealing with the use of the environmental impact evaluation code GENII-FRAMES. After learning the use of the code, the students will be divided into groups of maximum three people, and will be guided during the elaboration of a Case Report (CR), concerning a practical case (disposal of radioactive waste, environmental remediation, etc.). The report will be evaluated and contributes to the final grade (see grading criteria). A visit to a radiation protection lab and learning of in-field use of instrumentation is part of the program.
The theoretical lectures (45h) are completed by a practical part (15h). The theoretical lectures will be focused on the knowledge related to fuel cycle, waste and decommissioning topics, as described in the course topics. The practical part will be divided in two exercises. The first one will deal with the use of the environmental impact evaluation code RESRAD, concerning a practical case (disposal of radioactive waste, environmental remediation, etc.). The second one will be focused on a virtual platform for Safeguards Education and Training. The students will be divided into groups of maximum 3 people, and they will produce a report for each exercise. The reports will be evaluated and contributes to the final grade (see grading criteria).
Lecture notes on each topic will be provided online by the instructors. The following texts are recommended: Decommissioning of Nuclear Power Plants, Research Reactors and Other Nuclear Fuel Cycle Facilities, Specific Safety Guide, IAEA Safety Standards Series No. SSG-47 (available online). Cacuci, Dan Gabriel (Ed.), Handbook of Nuclear Engineering, Vol. 5: Fuel Cycles, Decommissioning, Waste Disposal and Safeguards, Wiley, 2010 (available online).
Lecture notes on each topic will be provided online by the instructors. The following texts are recommended: • Cacuci, Dan Gabriel (Ed.), Handbook of Nuclear Engineering, Vol. 5: Fuel Cycles, Decommissioning, Waste Disposal and Safeguards, Wiley, 2010 (available online). • IAEA, Classification of Radioactive Waste. General Safety Guide No. GSG-1. IAEA Safety Standards Series, 2009. • IAEA, Decommissioning of Nuclear Power Plants, Research Reactors and Other Nuclear Fuel Cycle Facilities, Specific Safety Guide, IAEA Safety Standards Series No. SSG-47 (available online).
Modalità di esame: Prova orale obbligatoria; Elaborato scritto prodotto in gruppo; Prova scritta in aula tramite PC con l'utilizzo della piattaforma di ateneo;
Exam: Compulsory oral exam; Group essay; Computer-based written test in class using POLITO platform;
Exam: written test, followed, after test grading by the instructors, by an oral discussion of the test results and of CR The exam is aimed at checking the student's knowledge about the topics listed in the official program of the course and his ability to apply the theory and the relative methods to answer questions dealing with Nuclear Fuel Cycle, Waste and Decommissioning. The exam consists of a written test with three open-ended questions on the topics contained in the course program. It aims to verify the level of knowledge and understanding of the covered topics. In particular, it aims to verify the skills specified in the "Expected learning outcomes" part. Time to answer: 90 minutes. Each question gets a grade going from 0 to 10. Each part is considered "pass" when the grade is equal or higher to 5. Summing up the three grades (if they are “pass”) the provisional final evaluation (a grade from 18 to 30) is obtained, which will be completed with the evaluation of the Report CR (see Course Structure), to get the final grade. The CR report may be evaluated as follows (in brackets the effect on the provisional final evaluation): Insufficient (must be edited until sufficient), sufficient (+0), good (+1). The exam is considered "pass" when the final grade is equal or higher to 18/30. During the written exam, it is not allowed to keep and consult books and notebooks. The results of the written test are communicated on the portal, loading in the Materials section appropriate files with the grades), together with a date in which the students can participate to the oral discussion. The oral discussion deals with a collective review of the test results, followed by the possibility for each student of viewing his personal written elaborates, and ask questions, followed by a brief discussion of the CR report.
Gli studenti e le studentesse con disabilità o con Disturbi Specifici di Apprendimento (DSA), oltre alla segnalazione tramite procedura informatizzata, sono invitati a comunicare anche direttamente al/la docente titolare dell'insegnamento, con un preavviso non inferiore ad una settimana dall'avvio della sessione d'esame, gli strumenti compensativi concordati con l'Unità Special Needs, al fine di permettere al/la docente la declinazione più idonea in riferimento alla specifica tipologia di esame.
Exam: Compulsory oral exam; Group essay; Computer-based written test in class using POLITO platform;
Exam: written test, followed, after test grading by the instructors, by an oral discussion of the test results and of the reports produced during the practical exercises. The exam is aimed at checking the student's knowledge about the topics listed in the official program of the course and his/her ability to apply the theory and the relative methods to answer questions dealing with Nuclear Fuel Cycle, Waste and Decommissioning. The exam consists of a written test with three open-ended questions on the topics contained in the course program. It aims to verify the level of knowledge and understanding of the covered topics. In particular, it aims to verify the skills specified in the "Expected learning outcomes" part. Time to answer: 90 minutes. To be admitted to the written test, the project report must be provided to the lecturer at least 5 working days before the exam date. Each question gets a grade going from 0 to 9. The written test can provide a maximum of 27 grades out of 30. The student is admitted to the oral discussion when the written test grade is equal or higher to 18/30. The oral discussion of the projects can provide a maximum of 3/30. During the written exam, it is not allowed to keep and consult books and notebooks. The results of the written test are communicated on the portal, loading in the Materials section appropriate files with the grades, together with the date of the oral discussion. The oral discussion deals with a collective review of the test results, followed by the possibility for each student of viewing his/her personal written elaborates, and ask questions, followed by a brief discussion of the reports.
In addition to the message sent by the online system, students with disabilities or Specific Learning Disorders (SLD) are invited to directly inform the professor in charge of the course about the special arrangements for the exam that have been agreed with the Special Needs Unit. The professor has to be informed at least one week before the beginning of the examination session in order to provide students with the most suitable arrangements for each specific type of exam.
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