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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. M. McDonald et al.
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 47 | Number 3 | April 2005 | Pages 554-558
Technical Paper | Fusion Energy - First Wall, Blanket, and Shield | dx.doi.org/10.13182/FST47-554
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
The molten salt Flibe, a combination of lithium and beryllium fluorides studied for molten salt fission reactors, has been proposed as a breeder and coolant for fusion applications. The melting points of 2LiF-BeF2 and LiF-BeF2 are 460°C and 363°C, but LiF-BeF2 is rather viscous and has less lithium for breeding. In the Advanced Power Extraction (APEX) Program, concepts with a free flowing liquid for the first wall and blanket were investigated. Flinabe (a mixture of LiF, BeF2 and NaF) was selected for a molten salt design because a melting temperature below 350°C appeared possible and this provided an attractive operating temperature window for a reactor. To confirm that a ternary salt with a low melting temperature existed, several combinations of the fluoride salts, LiF, NaF and BeF2, were melted in a stainless steel crucible under vacuum. One had an apparent melting temperature of 305°C. The test system, preparation of the mixtures, melting procedures and temperature curves for the melting and cooling are presented along with the apparent melting points. Thermal modeling of the salt pool and crucible is reported in an accompanying paper.