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2010/1 Module Catalogue
Module Provider: Physics Short Name: PHM-EPP
Level: M Module Co-ordinator: WALKER PM Prof (Physics)
Number of credits: 15 Number of ECTS credits: 7.5
Module Availability

Semester 2

Assessment Pattern
Unit(s) of Assessment Weighting Towards Module Mark (%)
Closed book examination 100 %
Part-time Students: Same as for full time students

Module Overview

This module provides a basic understanding of the transport of pollutants through the environment. It covers aerosol physics, introductory physics of the atmosphere and compartmental modelling in soil-plant-animal and aquatic systems. This module also describes the legislative framework of environmental protection, describing the major concepts in the field. It reviews the establishment and verification of systems for environmental protection, considering both legal and economic aspects. The course concludes with a practical review of environmental protection as applied in the nuclear industry.

Module Aims

To provide an understanding of the physical-chemical mechanisms by which pollutants move through the environment
To establish a basic grounding in the principles and practice of environmental protection.
To develop a qualitative approach to environmental protection, establishing the need for systems of control and verification with an analysis of associated cost.

Learning Outcomes

After completing this module, the student should be able to:

Module Specific Skills:
Assimilate concepts related to transport of pollutants through the environment
Demonstrate critical analysis of numerical data to perform simple calculations of relevant physical phenomena
Demonstrate a depth of understanding of the principle of environmental protection
Ability to discuss environmental sampling strategies and understand case studies in a range of applications
Understand legislation underpinning environmental protection

Discipline Specific Skills:
Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of Environmental Management Systems and ISO14001

Module Content















Dr J A S Cleaver


Properties of aerosols, flow, diffusion, size distributions, optical properties, coagulation, sampling and aerosol production.





Dr M C Thorne


Mathematical modelling of radionuclide transport in the environment, including applications of compartmental models.


Radionuclide dispersion in groundwaters, terrestrial surface waters, estuaries and marine environments.  Uptake of radionuclides by plants and animals.


Assessment of critical group and collective exposures.





Dr N B Ghiassee


Environmental Protection – Law and Policy.  The general principles and legislative basis of environmental protection policy in the , European Union, and at International level, and an overview of International Nuclear Law.





Mr G Beard


ISO14001 Environmental Management System: protecting the environment whilst maintaining your business, environmental impact minimisation, best available techniques, setting improvement targets, legal compliance, auditing and review.





Dr J Roberts


Nuclear Waste Disposal and Environment Management





Methods of Teaching/Learning
This module is assessed in Paper VI which will consist of 6 questions. Students answer 4 questions from the 6. Full marks for a question will be equivalent to 100 % of the total marks available in assessment of this module.
Selected Texts/Journals

1. “Introduction to Environmental Physics”, Mason, N. and Hughes, P., Taylor & Francis, London, 2001 (ISBN 0-7484-0765-0)
2. “Aerosol Technology, Properties, behaviour and measurement of airborne particles”, Hinds, W.C., Wiley, New York, 1982 (ISBN 0 471 08726 2)
3. “Aerosol Science for Industrial Hygienists”, Vincent, J.H., Pergamon Press, Oxford, 1995 (ISBN 008 042029X)
4. “Aerosol Sampling - Science and Practice”, Vincent, J.H., Wiley, New York, 1989 (ISBN 0-471-9217-5)
5. Radioecology, Radioactivity and Ecosystems, International Union of Radioecology, 2001. E. Van der Stricht and R. Kirchmann. (Particularly Chapter 7 ‘Assessing the Radiological Impact of Releases of Radionuclides to the Environment’)
6. Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, 1976, 6th Report: “Nuclear Power and the Environment”, Cmnd 6618, HMSO
7. Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, 2000, 22nd Report: “Energy – the Changing Climate”, Cm 4749, HMSO
8. “Environmental Radioactivity from Natural, Industrial and Military Sources”, Eisenbud, M. and Gesell, T., Academic Press, 1997
9. Environmental Law, Thornton, J, Beckwith,S, Sweet & Maxwell, London 1997
10. Environmental Law, 6th Edition, Bell, S, McGillivray, D, O.V.P. Press, Oxford, 2006
11. Principles of International Environmental Law, 2nd Ed, Sands, P, Cambridge University Press, 2003
12. International Law & the Environment, 2nd Edition, Birnie, P, & Boyle, A, University of Oxford Press, 2002
13. “The Environment of England and Wales - A Snapshot”, Environment Agency, Bristol, 1996
14. “Environmental Economics”, Hodge, I., Macmillan (ISBN 0-333-57771-X).
15. “Environmental and Natural Resource Economics”, Tietenberg, T., Harper Collins (ISBN 0-673-99472-4)

16. “Sustainability and Policy: Limits to Economics”, Common, M., Cambridge University Press (ISBN 0 521 43605-2)
17. “Sustainability and Environmental Economics; An Alternative Text”, Bowers, J., Addison Wesley Longman Ltd. (ISBN 0 582 27656-X)
18. Ward, N.I., (1993), “Quality control and sampling procedures used for determining heavy metals in biological and environmental materials”, Heavy Metals in the Environment Vol 1, Allan, R.J. and Nriago, J.O. (eds), CEP Consultants Ltd, Edinburgh, pp 298-303
19. Ward N.I., (1993), “Quality control in trace element analysis of human and animal samples: Are we using poor data to evaluate nutritional, agricultural, chemical or biological problems?”, Trace Elements in Man and Animals -TEMA 8, Anke, M., Meissner, D., and Mills, C. (eds), Verlag Media Touristik, Gersadorf, Germany, pp 108-112
20. Ward, N.I., (1995), “Environmental sampling - the first important area of measuring heavy metals in the environment”, Heavy Metals in the Environment, Vol 2, Wilken, R.D., Forstner, U. and Knochel, A. (eds), CEP consultants Ltd, Edinburgh, pp 281-284
21. Ward, NI (1995), “Trace elements, in Environmental Analytical Chemistry”, Fifield, F.W. and Haines, P.J. (eds), Blackie Academic and Professional, London, pp 320-351 (ISBN 0-7514-0052-1)
22. “Neutron activation analysis”, Vol 1 & 2, de Soete, D., Gijbels, R. and Hoste, J., Wiley Interscience
23. International Commission for Radiological Protection Publication No 23, Report of the Task Group on Reference Man. Pergamon Press, 1975
24. “Neutron Activation Analysis for Clinical Trace Element Research”, Vol I&II, CRC Press, Florida, 1983
25. The Pollution Handbook 2002. Editor Loveday Murley. ISBN 0-903-474-530
26. An Introduction to Nuclear Waste Immobilisation by M. I. Ojovan and W. E. Lee ISBN-10: 0080444628
27. Tromans S (2010), Nuclear Law – The Law Applying to Nuclear Installation and Radioactive Substances in it Historic Context, 2nd ed, Hart Publishing, Oxford.

Useful Web Sites
Department of Environment (DEFRA):
UK Government Site on Sustainable Development:
UK Parliamentary Office of Science & Technology:
European Union Environment Site:
The Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment

Last Updated

13th January 2010