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2021 Student Conference
April 8–10, 2021
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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.
D. C. Donovan, D. R. Boris, G. L. Kulcinski, J. F. Santarius
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 56 | Number 1 | July 2009 | Pages 507-511
Experimental Facilities and Nonelectric Applications | Eighteenth Topical Meeting on the Technology of Fusion Energy (Part 1) | dx.doi.org/10.13182/FST09-22
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison Inertial Electrostatic Confinement (IEC) Fusion Research Group has been performing experiments on an IEC device known as HOMER. This device is a 65cm high, 91cm diameter cylindrical aluminum vacuum chamber that contains two concentric spherical wire grids, the outer grid acting as the anode and the inner grid as the cathode. The potential difference between the anode and cathode drives ions towards the center of the grids. Using this device, steady-state D-D fusion reactions are created in order to produce 2.45 MeV neutrons. With the goal of achieving maximum neutron production rates, the following parameters have been varied: cathode voltage, ion current, operating pressure, and the separation distance between the anode and cathode. The studies on pressure, voltage, and current have led to the discovery of trends that allow for the extrapolation of neutron rates at various conditions. The cathode/anode separation studies have offered valuable insight into how the distance between the electrodes effects the concentration of deuterium molecular ions and the ion energy spectra, and has led to the implementation of a configuration that better maximizes neutron production rates.