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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.
Osamu Mitarai, Akio Sagara, Nobuyoshi Ohyabu, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Akio Komori, Osamu Motojima
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 56 | Number 4 | November 2009 | Pages 1495-1511
Technical Paper | dx.doi.org/10.13182/FST09-A9253
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
A new control method for the unstable operating point in the force-free helical reactor (FFHR) is proposed for low-temperature and high-density ignited operation. While in the stable ignition regime, the error of the fusion power of e'DT(Pf) = +(Pf0 - Pf) is used to obtain the desired fusion power with proportional-integral-derivative control of the fueling, we have discovered that in the unstable ignition regime, the error of the fusion power with an opposite sign of e'DT(Pf) = -(Pf0 - Pf) can stabilize the unstable operating point. Here, Pf0 is the fusion power set value, and Pf is the measured fusion power. Around the unstable operating point, excess fusion power (Pf0 < Pf) supplies fueling, increases the density, and then decreases the temperature. Less fusion power (Pf0 > Pf) in the subignited regime reduces the fueling, decreases the density, and then increases the temperature. While the operating point rotates to the clockwise direction in the stable ignition boundary, it rotates to the counterclockwise direction in the unstable ignition regime. Using this control algorithm, it is demonstrated that the operating point can reach the steady-state condition from an initial very low-temperature and low-density regime. The fusion power can also be shut down from the steady-state condition without any problems. Furthermore, characteristics of the stable and unstable ignition regimes are compared for the same fusion power, and control robustness to changes with various parameters has been studied.