Syllabus for NUC-342



Radiological, Reactor, and Environmental Safety provides basic concepts and applications in health physics and environmental aspects of nuclear power generation. The topics covered include the biological effects of radiation, dose-rate evaluation, radiation monitoring, radiological safety, reactor effluents and radioactive waste disposal; regulations governing radiation exposure and the release of radioactivity into the environment; and the environmental impact of nuclear power plants.


After completing this course, you should be able to:

  1. Explain the biological effects of ionizing radiation including genetic and somatic effects.
  2. Calculate the radiation dose of different types of radiation for a specific period of time.
  3. Summarize the basic operation of radiation monitoring equipment for alpha, beta, gamma, and neutron radiation.
  4. Describe the production mechanisms of gaseous, liquid, and solid radioactive waste in nuclear facilities.
  5. Describe the gaseous, liquid, and solid radioactive waste cleanup systems in nuclear facilities.
  6. Quantify the liquid and gaseous effluents from nuclear facilities.
  7. Analyze the environmental concerns arising from the operation of a nuclear power plant.
  8. Identify the ALARA philosophy in design, operation, and maintenance of nuclear power plant systems.


You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the College's textbook supplier, MBS Direct.

Required Textbook

  1. Introduction to Nuclear Engineering, 3rd ed., by John R. Lamarsh, Anthony J. Baratta (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2001)

ISBN-13: 978-0-201-82498-8

Additional Required Reading Materials Available Online:

  1. Department of Energy. (June 1992). DOE Fundamentals Handbook, Instrumentation and Control Volume 2 of 2 (DOE HDBK-1013/2-92). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Energy. Available online at

  1. U.S. NRC. (2007). Review of Safety Analysis Reports for Nuclear Power Plants. Chapters 11 and 12 (NUREG 0800). Washington, DC: U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Available online at

  1. U.S. NRC. (1999). Standard Review Plans for Environmental Reviews for Nuclear Power Plants (NUREG 1555). Washington, DC: U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Available online at

  1. U.S. NRC. (2007). 10CFR20 Appendix B. Annual Limits on Intake (ALIs) and Derived Air Concentrations (DACs) of Radionuclides for Occupational Exposure; Effluent Concentrations; Concentrations for Release to Sewerage(10CFR20). Washington, DC: U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Available online at

  1. U.S. EPA. (2008). Radioactive Waste Disposal: An Environmental Perspective (EPA 402-K-94-001). Washington, DC: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Available online at


Radiological, Reactor, and Environmental Safety is a three-credit online course, consisting of six (6) modules. Modules include topics, learning objectives, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below.

  1. Module 1: Biological Effects of Radiation

  1. Module 2: Calculation of Radiation Effects

  1. Module 3: Radiation Monitoring

  1. Module 4: Liquid and Gaseous Radioactive Waste and Effluents

  1. Module 5: Solid Radioactive Waste Production and Disposal

  1. Module 6: Environmental Regulating of Nuclear Facilities


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete written assignments, take a proctored online midterm examination, and complete a final project. See below for more details.

Consult the course Calendar for due dates.

Discussion Forums

This course requires you to participate in five (5) graded discussion forums. There is also an ungraded but required introduction forum in Module 1.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete six (6) written assignments. The written assignments are on a variety of topics associated with the courses modules.  Most problems are based on the end of chapter problems and module PowerPoint slides.

Midterm Examination

You are required to take a closed-book, proctored online midterm examination.

The midterm exam is two hours long and consists of 8 essay questions that are similar to the questions in written assignments. The exam covers materials assigned in modules 1, 2, and 3 of the course. It is highly recommended to review the module PowerPoint slides and written assignments before you take the midterm exam.

The exam is closed book and notes. In this regard you are NOT permitted to bring the textbook or any loose pages or notes. Scientific calculators are not permitted in examinations.

For the midterm, you are required to use the College's Online Proctor Service (OPS). Please refer to the "Examinations and Proctors" section of the Online Student Handbook (see General Information area of the course Web site) for further information about scheduling and taking online exams and for all exam policies and procedures. You are strongly advised to schedule your exam within the first week of the semester.

Online exams are administered through the course Web site. Consult the course Calendar for the official dates of exam weeks.

Statement about Cheating

You are on your honor not to cheat during an exam. Cheating means:

  1. Looking up any answer or part of an answer in an unauthorized textbook or on the Internet, or using any other source to find an answer.
  2. Copying and pasting or, in any way copying responses or parts of responses from any other source into your exams. This includes but is not limited to copying and pasting from other documents or spreadsheets, whether written by yourself or anyone else.
  3. Plagiarizing answers.
  4. Asking anyone else to assist you by whatever means available while you take an exam.
  5. Copying any part of an exam to share with other students.
  6. Telling your mentor that you need another attempt at an exam because your connection to the Internet was interrupted when that is not true.

If there is evidence that you have cheated or plagiarized in an exam, the exam will be declared invalid, and you will fail the course.

Final Project

In lieu of a final exam, you are required to complete a final paper (worth 30 percent of your course grade).

Your final research paper shall be 8 to 10 pages long. You are required to discusses the nuclear fuel life cycle, from the initial mining of fuel in the ground to retirement as high level waste or recycling as MOX fuel. The final paper entails two stages:

  1. Stage 1: Submit a 1–2 page paper outline (worth 3 percent of your course grade) that includes includes the sections of your paper and two tentative references for each section.
  2. Stage 2: Complete and submit the final paper (worth 27 percent of your course grade).

Below is the rubric that will aid in the grading of the final paper.

  1. Final Paper Grading Rubric

Consult your Course Calendar for due dates.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

  1. Online discussions (5)—15 percent
  2. Written assignments (6)—30 percent
  3. Midterm exam (proctored online, modules 1–5)—25 percent
  4. Final project—30 percent

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:






























Below 60

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a nonarea of study course), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings, etc.).


First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

  1. Read carefully the entire Syllabus, making sure that all aspects of the course are clear to you and that you have all the materials required for the course.

  1. Take the time to read the entire Online Student Handbook. The Handbook answers many questions about how to proceed through the course, how to schedule exams, and how to get the most from your educational experience at Thomas Edison State College.

  1. Arrange to take your examinations by following the instructions in this Syllabus and the Online Student Handbook. Then complete the "Proctor Request Form" and submit it to the Office of Test Administration (OTA). You must make arrangements to take your examination and send in your "Proctor Request Form" to OTA before the end of the first week of the current semester.

  1. Familiarize yourself with the learning management systems environment—how to navigate it and what the various course areas contain. If you know what to expect as you navigate the course, you can better pace yourself and complete the work on time.

  1. If you are not familiar with Web-based learning be sure to review the processes for posting responses online and submitting assignments before class begins.

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:

  1. To stay on track throughout the course, begin each week by consulting the course Calendar. The calendar provides an overview of the course and indicates due dates for submitting assignments, posting discussions, and scheduling and taking examinations.

  1. Check Announcements regularly for new course information.


Students at Thomas Edison State College are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State College expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the College insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty takes the following forms:

  1. Cheating
  2. Plagiarizing (including copying and pasting from the Internet without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources)
  3. Fabricating information or citations
  4. Facilitating acts of dishonesty by others
  5. Unauthorized access to examinations or the use of unauthorized materials during exam administration
  6. Submitting the work of another person or work previously used without informing the mentor
  7. Tampering with the academic work of other students

Academic dishonesty will result in disciplinary action and possible dismissal from the College. Students who submit papers that are found to be plagiarized will receive an F on the plagiarized assignment, may receive a grade of F for the course, and may face dismissal from the College.

A student who is charged with academic dishonesty will be given oral or written notice of the charge. If a mentor or College official believes the infraction is serious enough to warrant referral of the case to the academic dean, or if the mentor awards a final grade of F in the course because of the infraction, the student and the mentor will be afforded formal due process.

If a student is found cheating or using unauthorized materials on an examination, he or she will automatically receive a grade of F on that examination. Students who believe they have been falsely accused of academic dishonesty should seek redress through informal discussions with the mentor, through the office of the dean, or through an executive officer of Thomas Edison State College.


Using someone else's work as your own is plagiarism. Although it may seem like simple dishonesty, plagiarism is against the law. Thomas Edison State College takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing will be severely penalized. If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > "Citing Sources.")

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else's. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

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