Opportunities, Proposed PhD Topics

SOON TO Open PhD position: “Quantification of radiocarbon in waste materials from nuclear decommissioning”

The call WILL open soon

Background: JRC is developing/optimizing methods for the analysis of the safety performance of a repository, through the investigation of materials and radionuclides relevant to the safety of a repository, or for the radiotoxicity of 14C.
After an initial period in which the student will receive general instructions on the mission of the JRC and in particular the role of the EURATOM activities carried out on the Karlsruhe site in the field of nuclear fission, his/her research activity on carbon-14 concentration determination using SCAR will start.

Activities will be focused on the following main tasks:

  • Analysis and optimization of the optical setup in terms of laser beam;
  • Development, characterisation and optimisation of carbon extraction and oxidation systems.
  • Experimental campaign on graphite samples with different activation levels. Those samples are real decommissioning ones and thus very relevant for the mission of the JRC.
  • Investigation and characterization of other samples, such as activated reactor structural material, irradiated cladding and spent nuclear fuel.

 

Timeframe of the PhD research in the Unit

The duration of the PhD project will be three years. The PhD will spend approximately two years at JRC and 1 year in total at UniPi.

 

Expected outputs of the PhD research/thesis

The expected output of the PhD project will be:

  • optimization of the optical setup in terms of laser beam– resonance cavity coupling and stability of its locking;
  • optimization of the CO2 extraction procedure including the development of an automatic system to interface the carbon extraction system to the CO2 cryogenic trap;
  • validation and (possibly) certification of techniques used for the investigation of materials and radionuclides relevant for the safety of a repository, or for the radiotoxicity of 14C for which there is no consolidated procedure in literature.

Expected results of the collaboration

The project will increase the analytical capabilities of both the HEI and JRC laboratories, lead to a strong improvement in the knowledge of tools and methods used/to use for the quantification of radiocarbon in waste materials from nuclear decommissioning.
The research work will positively impact on the activities dedicated to nuclear decommissioning at both JRC and DICI.
Globally the project will enhance the collaboration between the two Parties and might produce increased knowledge in analytical and experimental techniques for nuclear decommissioning with potential benefits for the entire European system.

Contact Person: professor Rosa Lo Frano rosa.lo.frano@unipi.it