Fully-funded PhD Studentship on Spent Nuclear Fuel (February 2016)

The University of Leeds is advertising a fully funded scholarship to complete a PhD on nuclear fuel storage. No previous experience of nuclear science or engineering is required!

As posted at http://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/AMY912/fully-funded-phd-studentship-on-spent-nuclear-fuel/

Project Description:

The aim of this project is to develop and test a process which will allow long term storage of Magnox Fuel in dry conditions, prior to disposal.

It is possible that a small quantity of Magnox fuel may not be reprocessed. Experience from the First Generation Fuel Storage ponds at Sellafield site shows us that wet storage of Magnox fuels is not possible for long periods. Therefore, an alternative solution is required for storage of Magnox fuel between reactor discharge and final disposal.

Wylfa has experience of storing fuel, freshly discharged from the reactor, in a purpose built dry store. Therefore technical feasibility for uncorroded fuel, with self-heating, is proven; as long as the fuel remains dry. There are reports that if the fuel is accidentally wetted, then the cladding corrodes leading to the risk of activity release. If this is the case, then the sensitivity to even a short term exposure to water will greatly affect the possibility of long term storage.

The main question that this project will address is whether fuel that has already been stored and cooled in wet conditions can be dried and passivated sufficiently to allow long term storage without (further) degradation.

Programme Information:

This fully funded four-year PhD studentship is being offered as part of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Nuclear Fission – Next Generation Nuclear.

You will take part in a taught and training programme during the first year. During years 2-4 you will work on your PhD. You will be registered at the University of Leeds and have a visiting status at the University of Manchester.

No previous experience of nuclear science or engineering is required!

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