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The Electrochemical Treatment of Nuclear Wastes

Project Description

“Exploring new, effective, efficient and low cost electrochemical based methods, to treat problem waste streams contaminated with plutonium and actinides, from concept through to laboratory scale process demonstration.”

The Department of Engineering at Lancaster University is pleased to announce the availability of a fully funded PhD studentship in Nuclear Engineering.

Legacy wastes, especially those whose condition is such that straightforward disposal is not a viable option, present an important challenge for the nuclear industry. These are hazardous and must be thoroughly decontaminated prior to further processing for disposal. Current decontamination techniques involve the use of significant amounts of costly reagents which can have limited efficiencies toward separation and require further treatment as part of a secondary waste stream.

Electrochemical treatment of legacy wastes can yield a means to efficiently provide separation without the need for additional reagents. This significantly reduces the mass, volume and cost associated with decontamination process and could allow a safe and timely method for their treatment. This project will explore the fundamental electrochemistry of the proposed decontamination schemes, design and simulate the core electrochemical reactors involved and demonstrate their performance on a small scale. This will initially be with chemical analogues but there is an ambitious but achievable goal to use some active materials for direct demonstration of the process and reactor designs by the end of the project. This will be under very carefully controlled conditions at an industrial partner’s site.

Entry requirements: First class or good 2:1 in Chemical / Mechanical / Nuclear Engineering, Chemistry, Materials Science or related discipline.

For more information contact: Dr. Richard Dawson () or Dr. Fabrice Andrieux ()

Funding Notes

To be eligible for the studentship, the funding requirements are that you must either be a U.K. citizen or a European Union national. The stipend for eligible students would be £14,296 for 2016/17 and subject to national adjustments.

How good is research at Lancaster University in General Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 24.98

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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