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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.
J. F. Lyon, L. P. Ku, L. El-Guebaly, L. Bromberg, L. M. Waganer, M. C. Zarnstorff, ARIES-CS Team
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 54 | Number 3 | October 2008 | Pages 694-724
Technical Paper | Aries-Cs Special Issue | dx.doi.org/10.13182/FST54-694
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
A stellarator systems/optimization code is used to optimize the ARIES-CS fusion power plant parameters for minimum cost of electricity subject to a large number of physics, engineering, and in-vessel component constraints for a compact stellarator configuration. Different physics models, reactor component models, and costing algorithms are used to test sensitivities to models and assumptions. The most important factors determining the size of the fusion power core are the allowable neutron and radiative power fluxes to the wall, the distance needed between the edge of the plasma and the nonplanar magnetic field coils for the intervening components, and an adequate tritium breeding ratio. The magnetic field and coil parameters are determined from both plasma performance and constraints on the Nb3Sn superconductor. The same costing approach and algorithms used in previous ARIES studies are used with updated material costs. The result is a compact stellarator reactor with a major radius close to that of tokamaks. A one-dimensional power balance code is used to study the path to ignition and the effect of different plasma and confinement assumptions on plasma performance for the reference plasma and coil configuration. A number of variations are studied that affect the size and cost of the fusion power core: maximum field at the coils, component cost penalties, a different blanket and shield approach, alternative plasma and coil configurations, etc. Comparisons are made with some earlier ARIES power plant studies. A number of issues for the development of compact quasi-axisymmetric stellarators are identified.