NC State’s PULSTAR reactor wins DOE award to coincide with 50th anniversary

October 14, 2022, 6:55AMNuclear News

NSCU's PULSTAR research reactor. (Photo: NCSU)

The Department of Nuclear Engineering at North Carolina State University marked the 50th anniversary in September of its PULSTAR research reactor, a milestone that was featured in the department’s fall newsletter. The nuclear reactor, located in the Burlington Laboratory on university’s north campus, has been in use since 1972 by research faculty and staff in the University of North Carolina system and other academic institutions, as well as by government agencies and companies in North Carolina and throughout the United States.

One further reason the university is celebrating this year is the infrastructure award that the PULSTAR reactor just received from the Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy (NE). This financial award will help “facilitate an upgrade and enhancement to safety, operations, and utilization infrastructure.”

Nuclear Reactor Program: The PULSTAR reactor and its associated instrumentation are administered by NCSU’s Nuclear Reactor Program (NRP), which is a partner of the Nuclear Science User Facilities of Idaho National Laboratory. The NRP’s mission is “to enhance, promote, and utilize the PULSTAR research reactor and associated facilities in an exemplary manner, leading to national recognition as a premier 1-MW Nuclear Reactor Program dedicated to research, teaching, and extension.” The NRP began in 1950 with the construction of the R-1 reactor, the first academic research nuclear reactor in the world. The current director of the program is Ayman Hawari, distinguished professor of nuclear engineering.

SLOWPOKE-2 reactor refueled after over three decades of research

September 27, 2021, 9:30AMNuclear News
The core of SLOWPOKE-2. (Photo: CNL)

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) announced on September 23 that it had refueled the SLOWPOKE-2 research reactor at the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) in Kingston, Ontario. The reactor was recommissioned on September 10 after a 22-day outage.

Rewriting the script: The real story of advanced reactors

August 19, 2021, 3:02PMNuclear NewsSusan Gallier
The EBR-II sodium fast reactor at Idaho National Laboratory began operations in 1964 and generated electricity for decades. Soon it will serve as a National Reactor Innovation Center test bed for future advanced reactor demonstrations. (Source: ANL)

At the box office or streaming at home, it’s fear, not truth, that sells. The laws of physics are swept aside, apocalypse is inevitable, and superpowered heroes wait until the last possible second to save the universe. It can make for great entertainment, but in the real world we need to stick with science over science fiction and be wowed by engineering, not special effects.

The truth is, science and innovation are incredible in their own right. From communications and machine learning to space travel and medical advances, technology is evolving in hyperdrive to solve real problems. With climate change and global warming here on earth, we don’t have to go looking for trouble in a galaxy far, far away.

Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley national lab create new isotope

June 29, 2020, 7:31AMNuclear News

A team of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) scientists has discovered a new form of the human-made element mendelevium, LBNL reported on June 23. The newly created isotope, mendelevium-244, is the 17th and lightest form of mendelevium, which is element 101 on the periodic table.