Participants will develop a fundamental understanding of environmental speciation and mass transport of radioactive elements relevant to energy and nuclear weapons production; the disposition of waste derived from nuclear materials processing; the environmental impact of current and future generation nuclear reactor designs; nuclear fuel reprocessing techniques (open vs. closed fuel cycles); and the design and development of both short- and long-term radioactive waste treatment/containment strategies (extraction, vitrification, etc.). Class discussion and computer problem sets will focus both on longstanding empirical methods of estimating exposure hazard and predicting radionuclide behavior in the environment, and more-recent mechanistic approaches as applied to remedial action design and the responsible protection of the environment and public health. In addition to the transuranics (Pu, Np, etc.), significant lecture time will be reserved for radionuclides of particular academic and environmental importance, e.g., 3H, 137Cs, 90Sr, 99Tc, and 222Rn.
Chem I and II, Calculus I and II, Biol I, Introductory Soil Science or Geochemistry, or approval from instructor
In addition to class lectures and computer modeling exercises, a minimum of two SRS-based field trips will be included in the curriculum. A trip to the SRS General Separations Area will be used to illustrate various aspects associated with low-level nuclear waste disposal and the fate and transport of various waste-derived radionuclides in the environment. The tour will include the Old-Rad Waste Burial Grounds, the capped F- & H-Area seepage basins, the deactivated pump-and-treat remediation system, the in situ pH adjustment remediation system, and the contaminated seepage outcrops (i.e., F- and H-area tree kill zones) along a tributary to the Savannah River. The second field trip will be a tour of the SRS Mixed Oxide (MOX) Fuel Fabrication Facility currently under construction. Field trip manuals will be developed to document each destination and augment class discussion.
|Monday||Introduction to Radiochemistry: Sources and Types of Radioactivity (α, β, γ decay and fission); Thermodynamics and Chemical Equilibria|
|Tuesday||Thermodynamics and Chemical Equilibria (contd.); Chemical Kinetics; Redox Reactions|
|Wednesday||Tour: SRS Mixed Oxide (MOX) Fuel Fabrication Facility|
|Thursday||Uranium Geochemistry and Decay Series (238U: 230Th, 226Ra, 222Rn), U Mining and Extraction; U Mine Tailings; Co-contaminant|
Problem Set 1: Aqueous-Phase U Speciation: pe, pH and pCO2
|Friday||Weekly Lecture Review; Exam 1|
|Monday||Reactive Surfaces (clays, oxides, zeolites, NOM, etc.)|
|Tuesday||Solute Partitioning: Empirical (e.g., Langmuir, Freundlich, Kd, etc.) vs Mechanistic Descriptions (e.g., SCM)|
Problem Set 2: Solute Partitioning
|Wednesday||Tour: SRS General Separations Area: Old Rad Waste Burial Ground, Capped F- & H-Area Seepage Basins and down-gradient tree-kill areas, Mixed-Waste Management Facility (MWMF) (Tour references Greenwood et al., 1990; Hitchcock et al., 2005; Seaman et al., 2007)|
|Thursday||Flow and Transport Processes: Dispersion, Partitioning, and Decay|
Problem Set 3: Conservative and Reactive Solute Transport-Distinguishing Chemical and Physical Transport Processes
|Friday||Weekly Lecture Review; Exam 2|
|Monday||Flow and Transport Processes (Contd.)|
Problem Set 4: Multi-Component Transport Simulation
|Tuesday||Closed (239Pu and 235U recovery) vs Open Nuclear Fuel Cycle; Purex Recovery Technology|
|Wednesday||Tour: Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Station, SCE&G|
|Thursday||Short- and Long-Term Nuclear Waste Issues|
|Friday||Class Review; Comprehensive Final Exam|
For registration information contact Dr. John Seaman, seaman(at)srel.edu.