(NuClean) R&D at the Nuclear/Chemical Engineering Interface: Some Indentified Needs & Work


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Steven Krahn, Professor of the Practice of Nuclear Environmental Engineering in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Vanderbilt University, presents on needs and work in R&D regarding nuclear and chemical engineering.

The NuClean Kick-Off workshop was held on Nov. 7, 2013 at the Handlery Union Square Hotel in San Francisco, CA, co-located with the AIChE 2013 Annual Meeting.

For more information on NuClean, visit: http://www.aiche.org/cei/conferences/nuclean-workshop/2013.

For more information on AIChE's Center for Energy Initiatives (CEI), visit: http://www.aiche.org/cei.

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(NuClean) R&D at the Nuclear/Chemical Engineering Interface: Some Indentified Needs & Work

  1. 1. R&D at the Nuclear/Chemical Engineering Interface: Some Indentified Needs & Work Presentation to the NuClean COE AIChE Annual Meeting 2013 Steve Krahn
  2. 2. Outline • Some Emerging Needs • A Different Nuclear Education Perspective • DOE & Nuclear Separations • Nuclear Chemical Facilities • Final Items & Thoughts The Nuclear Fuel Cycle
  3. 3. The Emerging Education Need • A number of groups have recently looked at the issue of knowledge management and human capital in the nuclear industry • They have included: the NRC, APS, ANS, IAEA, DOE and other interested groups • NRC: – ‘traditionally stable workforce’ permitted a passive, “informal approach” to knowledge management – concluded by stating that additional focus was needed on workforce planning, training and teaching… with the average age of the NRC workforce approaching 50 years. • DOE’s NEAC: the nuclear work force… present sources may be adequate for the status quo, but that for any substantial new construction, human resources requirements… need to be reevaluated and career pathway options developed. • IAEA: “The anticipated growth in nuclear generating capacity coupled with recent and continuing life extension of existing plants create an unprecedented demand for a unique workforce resource: the individual qualified in all of the traditional nuclear power disciplines.”
  4. 4. All Nuclear Disciplines? Re-feed? HEU Blenddown De-convert? Separate? Right Waste Form(s)? One-size fits all?
  5. 5. Nuclear Environmental Engineering: A Different Educational Perspective • Still addresses reactor and fuel issues • However, these are placed within the full fuel cycle, “ore to waste” – Including a focus on sustainability along with radioactive & chemical waste issues – Philosophy: to understand and deal with this complex, hazardous waste you need to understand where it came from and why. • Curriculum developed under grants from the NRC & DOE, with participation from NRC, DOE, EPA , along with industry and academia • Modules have been developed & evolved over the past six years: – Nuclear Fuel Cycle Short Course (taught 3 times, most recently July 2011)* with emphasis on chemical processes – Nuclear Reactors and Fuels Short Course (Fall 2010)* – Four graduate courses in Nuclear Environmental Engineering taught on campus at Vanderbilt over the past two academic years to more than 30 graduate students (along with 8 undergrads…most recently) *Note: The lecture materials for these two courses are available at the CRESP website, in the education section (www.cresp.org).
  6. 6. Nuclear Environmental Engineering: A Specialty within the ENVE PhD • Built around a four core courses – Introduction to Nuclear Environmental Engineering (ENVE 285): the nuclear fuel cycle & impacts – Nuclear Facilities Life Cycle Engineering (ENVE 330): facility operations, design and analysis – Storage, Treatment and Disposal of Radioactive Waste (ENVE 332): dealing with radioactive waste in all its forms – “Advanced” Topics – process risk analysis; the nuclear isotope uses, production and waste issues; nuclear materials; alternate fuel cycles (e.g., thorium) (variously numbered)
  7. 7. NEE Status and Path Forward • Five PhD students now in the track, several MEng and Health Physics MS have also completed the entire course cycle (or are in the process) • Continuously evaluating feedback from: – Fuel cycle short courses delivered to professional audiences – On-campus delivery of all four (4) courses, and – Redefinition of the courses for the second cycle (in-process). • Looking at the potential for two new “short courses,” based on modules in the final course taught in the PhD sequence: – Nuclear Materials – Nuclear Process Safety • Ongoing incorporation of insights from Vanderbilt fuel cycle & environmental engineering research into curriculum
  8. 8. DOE Nuclear Separations Initiative • A variety of program areas within DOE have mission needs R&D in the area of nuclear separations science: – Nuclear Energy (DOE-NE) – Environmental Management (DOE-EM) – Science (DOE-SC) – National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) • A collaborative effort was launched in the summer of 2011
  9. 9. Progress in DOE Separations Planning • The initial workshop effort was divided into four breakout sessions: – Chemistry & Speciation of the Actinides – Design of Molecules & Materials with Selective Properties – Scale-up of Separations Processes – Interface Issues between Separations and Waste Forms/Fuel Fabrication • Workshop recommended a collaborative planning process to develop a DOE Separations Technology Roadmap • DOE management and working groups established • Two follow-on technical workshops in late 2012: – Chemical Separations – Physical Separations and Process Chemistry • Reports being finalized & roadmap work on-going
  10. 10. DOE Chemical/Nuclear Facilities: Safety & Operations • Background & Motivation – Increased number of DOE nuclear facilities using complex chemical processes – Nuclear & Chemical industries have differing regulatory regimes and approaches to safety management • OSHA/CSB • DOE/NRC/INPO – Research opportunity in review of US Chemical Safety Board accident reports • More than 60 reports • “Key Issues” • On-going collaborative project with DOE-EM – Analyze CSB reports: key issues and then detailed content – Develop understanding of causal factors – Translate understanding of causes to performance measures for operation and safety • Presently finalizing understanding of causal factors through 2-stage analysis – Review of CSB Key Issues – Re-categorizing Key Issues
  11. 11. Observations To Date • CSB expert-based causal analyses – >90 different identified “Key Issues” – More than 60 of which occurred only once – Only a couple occurred in as many as 1/3 of reports • Identified Key Issues re-evaluated using a structure based on the OSHA guide on Process Safety Management (PSM) – Provided more standardized wording – Familiar to a broad audience • Re-analysis indicated: – Robust categorization (very few binned as “other”) – Five causal factors occurred in more than 1/3 of all reports: • • • • • Design & Engineering Use of Standards Process Hazard Analysis Emergency Planning and Response Hazard Recognition – Evaluating independence and correlation of results • Next steps – Content analysis of reports to confirm “Key Issue” insights – Evaluate several accidents with nuclear causal analysis – Develop performance insights
  12. 12. Some Final Items/Thoughts • Additional Items of Note: – DOE Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) Standard to be issued soon…process approach taken – Extensive DOE evaluation of safety culture on-going (DNFSB 2011-1): NRC concept of Safety Conscious Work Environment (SCWE) • Thoughts – Opportunity for nuclearchemical processing community of practice under NuClean? • Challenge of combined nuclear and chemical hazards (separate and combined effects) • Technical and human performance • Your thoughts….?
  13. 13. Acknowledgements • The work described herein was partially supported by a grant with DOE, led by Vanderbilt, entitled the Consortium for Risk Evaluation with Stakeholder Participation (CRESP), for the breadth of work performed visit cresp.org. • Some of the education work was also performed an education grant from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) entitled, “A Curriculum Guide for Nuclear Environmental Protection.”
  14. 14. References • • • • • • • • • NEA (OECD), “Nuclear Education and Training: Cause for Concern?,” (2000). IAEA, “Risk Management of Knowledge Loss in Nuclear Industry Organizations,” Report, (2006). APS, PANEL ON PUBLIC AFFAIRS, “Readiness of the U. S. Nuclear Workforce for 21st Century Challenges,” Committee on Energy and Environment, Report, (June 2008). ANS, SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON FEDERAL INVESTMENT IN NUCLEAR EDUCATION, “Nuclear’s Human Element: Defining the Federal Government’s Role in Sustaining a Vibrant U.S. University-Based Nuclear Science and Engineering Education System for the 21st Century,” Report, (December 2006). D. KOSSON, C. POWERS, and M. STABIN, “A Curriculum Guide for Nuclear Environmental Protection,” NRC Nuclear Education Grant NRC-38-07-496, (September 2009). The lecture materials for these two courses are available at the CRESP website, in the education section (www.cresp.org). S. KRAHN, D. KOSSON, and J. CLARKE, “A Systems Approach to Teaching Radioactive Waste Management,” Trans. Amer. Nuc. Soc., 105, 177 (2011). S. KRAHN, D. KOSSON, and J. CLARKE, “A Revolutionary Masters Degree in Nuclear Environmental Engineering,” Trans. Amer. Nuc. Soc., 105, 127 (2011). S. KRAHN & D. KOSSON, “The Continued Evolution of a Revolutionary Curriculum in Nuclear Environmental Engineering” , Trans. Amer. Nuc. Soc., 106, 125 – 127 (2012)
  15. 15. References [2] • • • • • • DOE, “Nuclear Separations Technologies Workshop Report: Getting From Where We Are to Where We Want to be in Nuclear Separations Technologies,” July 27 -28, 2011, Bethesda, MD A. GRIFFITH & S. KRAHN, “Report on a DOE Nuclear Separations Workshop and the Path Forward,” Trans. of the Amer. Nuc. Soc., 106, p 215 – 216 (June 2012) J. HUTTON, J., S. KRAHN, L. FYFFE, L., and J. CLARKE, “Developing Operational Safety Performance Measures for Nuclear Chemical Facilities,” paper presented at the 2013 International High Level Radioactive Waste Management Conference in Albuquerque, NM, April 29- May 2, 2013. J. HUTTON, J., S. KRAHN, L. FYFFE, L., and J. CLARKE, “U.S. Chemical Safety Board Reports and Operational Safety Performance Measures for Nuclear Chemical Facilities,” to be presented at the ANS Winter Meeting, Washington, DC, November 10-14, 2013. J. O’BRIEN, G. SMITH, R. SASTRY, K. FLEMING, & S. KRAHN, “Development of a DOE Standard for Probabilistic Risk Assessments at Nuclear Facilities,” accepted for presentation at the ANS Winter Meeting, November 11-15, 2013, Washington, DC. P. BREDT, S. KRAHN, B. MOYER, J. VIENNA, J., B. WILMARTH, et al, Scientific Opportunities to Reduce Risk in Nuclear Process Science, PNNL-17699, July 2008
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