22 Jul 2021

Preparation of young generation nuclear energy specialists at LEI

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Lithuanian Energy Institute (LEI) in cooperation with Lithuanian universities implements the joint doctoral studies in the fields of technological and social sciences:

  • Energetics and Power Engineering in cooperation with Kaunas University of Technology;
  • Environmental engineering – in cooperation with Kaunas University of Technology and Vytautas Magnus University;
  • Economics– in cooperation with Kaunas University of Technology and Klaipėda University.

The topics proposed for the Master’s cover different needs of Lithuanian and European industry. The only nuclear power plant in Lithuania (Ignalina NPP) is closed for decommissioning recently, however, the issues related to the plant decommissioning and dismantling, radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel management will remain relevant for Lithuania for a long time. In response to this, two research topics for PhD related to spent nuclear fuel management (both in the field “Energetics and Power Engineering”) were announced in 2021:

  1. Investigation of the process inside the nuclear fuel during wet and dry storage. It is planned that the dissertation study will be carried out using the numerical analysis methods and the latest software for modelling processes in nuclear fuel rods. The main goal of such research - to develop reliable numerical analysis methods, capable to model the processes during a short-term storage in spent fuel pools and in intermediate dry storage containers.
  2. Analysis of spent fuel ageing processes during the interim and long storage periods. Such research topic was selected because the spent nuclear fuel is a complex system in which it is hard to decouple the different contributions of the concomitant phenomena (chemical composition changes, microstructural reorganisation, self-irradiation, radiogenic helium production, …) and currently no real example of a spent nuclear fuel aged for several centuries is available now. As a result of such research, the detailed thermal and mechanical characteristics of UO2 doped with the strong α-emitter 238Pu should be provided. It is planed that for the modelling of processes in nuclear fuel rods the TRANSURANUS code will be used, which in turn will need to be improved.

During the PhD studies, the students will be involved in an international team which is working on this topic and will give an opportunity to participate in the mobility program. The second research topic “Analysis of spent fuel ageing processes during interim and long storage period” is proposed in the frame of the Call for collaborative doctoral partnership with EC Joint Research Centre. Such collaborative doctoral partnership is developed among Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuanian Energy Institute and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission. Within the frame of such collaboration, the researchers of LEI, JRC center in Karlsruhe (Germany) and Institute for Transuranium Elements are performing in cooperation an integral analysis of the process inside the fuel rods during accidents. The researchers will be jointly participating in international projects and presenting results at seminars/workshops/conferences. This creates a real base, necessary for the successful preparation of PhD students.

For more information on PhD studies at LEI, visit: https://www.lei.lt/en/phd-studies/



Moreover, Lithuanian Energy Institute aims to provide a free and well-established platform to undergraduate, MSc, PhD students, postdoc, entrant engineers and other young researchers to present their latest research, develop their skills, make new contacts and forge durable scientific relationships by organizing and hosting the International Conference of Young Scientists on Energy and Natural Sciences Issues (CYSENI)  – an annual event aimed at young researchers and professionals from Europe and worldwide working in the fields of Energy, Physical and Environmental sciences. The Conference has a well-established history (starting in 2004) and regional reputation, and has grown in scope and partnership over the recent years.

Quote: The structure is there. The organization is great. Everything feels like it’s a big conference, and that is very important to me as a young scientist, to get to know what a conference is about.

Find out more about our conference at: https://cyseni.com/


Algirdas Kaliatka
Lithuanian Energy Institute

Jolanta Kazakevičienė
Studies Administrator
Lithuanian Energy Institute