ANS works to promote K-12 nuclear education program in North Carolina

June 28, 2023, 12:04PMNuclear News
The PULSTAR reactor at North Carolina State University. (Photo: N.C. State)

The American Nuclear Society is collaborating with the Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership (KFP) at North Carolina State University to introduce a nuclear science curriculum to Kenan Fellows and the K-12 students they teach.

The National Organization of Test, Research, and Training Reactors

June 12, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear NewsLes Foyto, Tim Grunloh, and Caleb S. Brooks

Photo: University of Maryland Radiation Facilities

This year, the nuclear power industry is seeing a renewed mandate to innovate and supply carbon-free energy for a range of applications. These new reactor designs feature new fuel forms, expanded thermodynamic ranges, and different operational paradigms. The trend toward smaller designs is anticipated to dramatically reduce siting requirements and enable applications of nuclear heat more customizable to commercial use. This has many vendors and operators imagining creative ways to optimize reactor economics in an unpredictable energy market.

The existing U.S. nuclear fleet has benefited from experience and research generated in research and test reactors around the country. As our industry reinvests in innovation, it will once again turn to many of the same reactors. Those reactors—and the groups such as the National Organization of Test, Research, and Training Reactors (TRTR) that formed to support them—have their own history of innovation.

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.