2016 Experiments for Materials related to Decommissioning A

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Academic unit or major
Graduate major in Nuclear Engineering
Yano Toyohiko  Yoshida Katsumi 
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Course description and aims

Using the text handed out in advance, students will learn about the basic principles of physical properties evaluation for solid materials. Students will also learn about fundamentals and precautions for dealing with unsealed radioisotopes, pollution tests and pollution cleanup, exposure prevention, etc. Next, they will use a cutting machine installed in a glove box in a controlled area to cut and grind a sample, then create observation sample. Mounting the removed sample to a measuring instrument, thermal conductivity is measured. Using the same sample, observations are made with a scanning electron microscope and optical microscope. Furthermore, strength tests are done in parallel in high-temperature water with metals such as zircaloy, a cladding tube material.

Student learning outcomes

Students learn evaluation methods for solid materials required to decommission reactors by conducting experiments using radioactive samples. At the same time students learn methods for actually handling radioactive materials, cleanup, and individual exposure control. (A and B have the same content, but are held in different terms. A student cannot receive credits for both A and B)


Experiment, Radioactive materials, Radiation control area, Protection of radiation exposure, Properties of solids, Thermal property, Mechanical property, Radiation damage

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

1) In the first lecture, the basics of entering and exiting controlled areas and the basics of handling radioactive isotopes are explained. 2) Following the textbook, basic principles of physical properties assessed in experiments are explained, and problems are worked on. 3) Attendance is taken every class. Because experiments are involved, tardiness is not permitted. 4) Experiments are done in small groups under the guidance of instructors and TAs. 5) Following the completion of an experiment, each student must submit a report within 1 week.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 1) Introductory lecture for how to use "radiation control area" and "how to handle radioactive materials".
Class 2 1) Introductory explanation on basics of property evaluation according to the textbook. 2) Preparation of experiment. Submit a pre-experiment report.
Class 3 1) Trial experiment using non-radioactive materials.2) Cutting and pulverization of radioactive materials for use subsequent expperiments.3) Measurement of hardness.4) Decontamination of table and Smear measurement. Calculate surface contamination.
Class 4 1) Thermal diffusivity measurement and analyses. 2) Smear test. Calculate thermal conductivity from thermal diffusivity.
Class 5 1) Powder X-ray diffraction experiment and analyses.2) Smear test. Determination of crystalline phases. Calculation of lattice parameter.
Class 6 1) Hydrothermal treatment of metals. 2) Mechanical testing of specimens. Understanding reactor core environment. Understanding corrosion.
Class 7 1) Observation of microstructure by scanning electron microscopy. 2) XRD measurements for hydrothermal treated specimen and analyses. Understanding microstructure observation.
Class 8 1) Evaluation of personal radiation exposure, including internal and external human body. Understanding personal exposure control. Submit experimental report within one week.


Text is provided at the first class.

Reference books, course materials, etc.

Shown in the text.

Assessment criteria and methods

1) Student's course score are based on pre-experimental report, attitude for experiments and final report.
2) Full attendance and completion of all experiments are compulsory.

Related courses

  • NCL.N403 : Nuclear Materials and Structures

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

No prerequisites are necessary, but enrollment in the related courses is desirable.

Contact information (e-mail and phone)    Notice : Please replace from "[at]" to "@"(half-width character).

Toyohiko Yano tyano[at]nr.titech.ac.jp
Katsumi Yoshida k-yoshida[at]nr.titech.ac.jp

Office hours

Contact by e-mail in advance to schedule an appointment.

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