<< Back

PhD Studentship Opportunity

PhD Project - Strategic Decision Making for a Sustainable Nuclear Fuel Cycle

NNL is advertising this PhD studenship opportunity on behalf of the University of Central Lancashire. Any requests for information should be sent directly to the details listed below. 


PhD Studentship
School of Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences
Centre for Energy and Power Management
Reference Number: RS/11/27

Project Title: Strategic Decision Making for a Sustainable Nuclear Fuel Cycle

The School of Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences wishes to appoint an EPSRC CASE PhD studentship in collaboration with National Nuclear Laboratory. The studentship is tenable for up to 3.5 years for a PhD (via MPhil route) [subject to satisfactory progress]. The studentship will cover the cost of tuition fees for UK/EU residents plus a maintenance grant (up to a £14,590 for 2011/12) (stipend subject to residence requirements for EU applicants) per annum. The successful applicant will start on 1 July 2012. Due to EPSRC residence criteria, this studentship will not be open to International students.

Project Description

The work will comprise two parts. The first, defining sustainability criteria for decision making with reference to the literature, the second will focus on the measurement / representation of criteria with decision making frameworks.

Understanding the perception / acceptance of stakeholders and the likely societal impacts of the decisions made regarding all aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle is central to this approach. A comprehensive list of relevant criteria will be established through literature review and discussions with the stakeholders. These will include perception related criteria regarding economics, resistance to proliferation, and environmental impact. The perceptions of lay public will also be considered based on previous work regarding a working definition of sustainability in decision making and how societal views are incorporated. Of significant research interest is how lay public perceptions can be incorporated into decision making criteria. The clear definition of these criteria will be a key deliverable. To address this, workshops will be convened with the lay public to deliberate proposed metric definitions and methods of measurement. A summary of criteria with metrics will be developed which will be refined through discussions with stakeholders.

A combination of quantitative and qualitative data will be gathered and used in analysis. This research will build on previous studies which have used multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) in the specific context of managing aging nuclear infrastructure as it approaches decommissioning. Perceptions of sustainability within the nuclear energy industry, when compared to other sectors of the economy, will be explored in depth. The project will seek to bring together environmental, economic and social aspects of sustainability within a nuclear industry context. This project will build upon an existing partnership between UCLan and the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL), a leading nuclear technology services provider.

Applicants should have a minimum 2:1 (honours) degree or above in a relevant subject.

Informal enquiries about the posts can be made to Prof. Joe Howe (JMHowe@uclan.ac.uk), Tel: 01772 893291

Requests for an application pack (quoting the reference number RS1127) should be directed to the Graduate Research School Office. Tel: 01772 895082 or email:researchdegrees@uclan.ac.uk

Closing Date: 11 June 2012

Interview Date: 18 June 2012