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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.
Scott D. Ramsey, Gregory J. Hutchens
Nuclear Science and Engineering | Volume 168 | Number 3 | July 2011 | Pages 265-277
Technical Paper | dx.doi.org/10.13182/NSE10-11
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
The utility of stochastic point kinetics theory has been demonstrated through the examination of a criticality excursion in a supercritical system. It has been found that a deterministic point kinetics model underpredicts the excursion maximum energy release by up to two orders of magnitude with respect to a counterpart stochastic model. This potentially large underprediction shows that neutron population fluctuations play an important role in the evolution of that system. This work provides a review of the formalism and approximations used to arrive at this conclusion. To broaden the result's applicability, we relax several approximations, leading to the construction of new, nonanalytical expressions. We compare the two sets of results using local sensitivity analysis, which also allows us to assess the impact of potential uncertainties in included model parameters or data. This comparison (presented also for a 235U system) also proves useful in assessing the validity of the approximations under consideration.