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Nuclear Science and Engineering
Fusion Science and Technology
NC State celebrates 70 years of nuclear engineering education
An early picture of the research reactor building on the North Carolina State University campus. The Department of Nuclear Engineering is celebrating the 70th anniversary of its nuclear engineering curriculum in 2020–2021. Photo: North Carolina State University
The Department of Nuclear Engineering at North Carolina State University has spent the 2020–2021 academic year celebrating the 70th anniversary of its becoming the first U.S. university to establish a nuclear engineering curriculum. It started in 1950, when Clifford Beck, then of Oak Ridge, Tenn., obtained support from NC State’s dean of engineering, Harold Lampe, to build the nation’s first university nuclear reactor and, in conjunction, establish an educational curriculum dedicated to nuclear engineering.
The department, host to the 2021 ANS Virtual Student Conference, scheduled for April 8–10, now features 23 tenure/tenure-track faculty and three research faculty members. “What a journey for the first nuclear engineering curriculum in the nation,” said Kostadin Ivanov, professor and department head.
Javier E. Vitela
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 52 | Number 1 | July 2007 | Pages 1-28
Technical Paper | dx.doi.org/10.13182/FST07-A1484
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
We report on the burn control studies of a D-T-fueled tokamak reactor using a two-temperature, zero-dimensional, volume-averaged model, assuming that electrons and ions have the same radial profile with different central temperatures. Balance equations for the particle and energy densities are used assuming that energy and particle transport losses are independent of each other and can be estimated online; thermalization time delays of the energetic alpha particles produced by fusion are taken into account in the dynamical equations. The burn stabilization is achieved with radial basis neural networks (RBNNs) that concurrently modulate a D-T refueling rate, a neutral 4He beam, and auxiliary heating powers to the electrons and the ions, all constrained to maximum allowable levels. The resulting network provides feedback stabilization in a wide range of energy confinement times for plasma density and temperature excursions significantly far from their nominal values. Transient examples using different ELMy scaling laws show that the RBNN controller is stable with respect to any particular scaling law that the tokamak may actually follow for the energy and particle transport losses and is also robust with respect to noise in the measurement of the confinement times. Furthermore, it satisfactorily responds to sudden changes in fast-alpha-particle losses due to increments in magnetohydrodynamic events.