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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

CAPE3331 Nuclear Operations

20 creditsClass Size: 80

Module manager: Dr X Jia

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Nuclear energy will be a major part of the UK's strategy to generate low (no) carbon energy. To understand how the technology fits into that strategy, as well as how the UK nuclear industry has developed into one of the largest in the world, you need to know about a wide range of operations across the nuclear fuel cycle.This module looks at nuclear fission from the reactor to disposal of the wastes. It will take you through the science and engineering behind reactor operations, nuclear fuel recycling and disposal, as well as all aspects of waste treatment. Nuclear decommissioning, is one of the largest areas of industrial activity in the UK and the module covers this. The module will also give you the basic understanding of the nuclear physics and chemistry behind these operations, as well as the engineering.The module is suitable for students with a background in STEM subjects.


At the end of the module, students will have a detailed understanding of the science and engineering that underlies current nuclear operations, within the UK and worldwide.

Learning outcomes
Students will develop an understanding of operations in the nuclear industry as component of an integrated nuclear fuel cycle.


- Fundamental chemistry and physics pertaining to nuclear operations
- Principles of nuclear operations
- Reactor operation
- Nuclear safety
- Comparison of UK versus international practices
- Spent fuel treatment and disposal
- Nuclear waste treatment
- Reactor decommissioning
- Legacy decommissioning
- Decontamination

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours146.00
Total Contact hours54.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

- Completion of assignments
- Independent study of the issues raised by the lectures
- Revision

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- Performance in assignments and in-class tests.
- Contributions to discussions in tutorial sessions.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
AssignmentAssignment (XJ)20.00
AssignmentAssignment (BCH)30.00
AssignmentAssignment (TNH)20.00
In-course AssessmentTest (XJ)10.00
In-course AssessmentTest (BCH)10.00
In-course AssessmentTest (TNH)10.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 12/07/2022


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