• Offered by Research School of Physics
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Physics
  • Areas of interest Physics, Nuclear Physics
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof Andrew Stuchbery
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in Second Semester 2025
    See Future Offerings

In this course, students will learn about the nuclear fuel cycle, starting from how Uranium and Thorium elements are formed via nucleosynthesis and ending in how spent fuel from nuclear reactors is managed with safety and security in mind. Students will learn about proliferation concerns of relevance to the nuclear fuel cycle, engage in hands-on work of relevance to non-proliferation and safeguards work, and engage with some of the policy and regulatory considerations shaping safe, secure, and responsible handling of all aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle.  Students will also become aware of the national and international regulatory bodies involved in carrying out this work.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Construct a description of key elements of the nuclear fuel cycle, starting from the formation of key elements in stellar nucleosynthesis and ending in the long-term storage of spent fuel;
  2. Describe uranium mining and fuel preparation methods and assess safety, security, and environmental impact considerations associated with mining and fuel preparation processes;
  3. Quantitatively evaluate alternative uranium enrichment technologies;
  4. Critique different nuclear waste disposal options with respect to safety, security, and environmental impact considerations;
  5. Analyze proliferation risks and conceptualize approaches for safeguarding nuclear materials;
  6. Apply knowledge of the roles of the IAEA, government policy, and national or other regulators in relation to nuclear safeguards and non-proliferation to identify opportunities for contributing to the safe, secure, and responsible use of nuclear systems in Australia.

Other Information

S2 2024

S2 2025

S2 2026

Indicative Assessment

  1. Lab report (20) [LO 1,5]
  2. Essay (40) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6]
  3. Problem sets (40) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6]

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The expected workload will consist of approximately 130 hours throughout the semester including:

  • Face-to face component which may consist of a week-long intensive program which will include lectures and laboratory work.
  • Approximately 100 hours of self directed study which will include essay preparation and submission.

Inherent Requirements

To be determined

Requisite and Incompatibility

Incompatible with ENGN4205

Prescribed Texts



Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
7751 21 Jul 2025 28 Jul 2025 31 Aug 2025 24 Oct 2025 In Person N/A

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