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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.
M. A. Jessee, P. J. Turinsky, H. S. Abdel-Khalik
Nuclear Science and Engineering | Volume 169 | Number 1 | September 2011 | Pages 40-55
Technical Paper | dx.doi.org/10.13182/NSE09-67
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
Computational capability has been developed to adjust multigroup neutron cross sections, including self-shielding correction factors, to improve the fidelity of boiling water reactor (BWR) core modeling and simulation. The method involves propagating multigroup neutron cross-section uncertainties through various BWR computational models to evaluate uncertainties in key core attributes such as core keff, nodal power distributions, thermal margins, and in-core detector readings. Uncertainty-based inverse theory methods are then employed to adjust multigroup cross sections to minimize the disagreement between BWR core modeling predictions and observed (i.e., measured) plant data. For this paper, observed plant data are virtually simulated in the form of perturbed three-dimensional nodal power distributions with the perturbations sized to represent actual discrepancies between predictions and real plant data. The major focus of this work is to efficiently propagate multigroup neutron cross-section uncertainty through BWR lattice physics and core simulator calculations. The data adjustment equations are developed using a subspace approach that exploits the ill-conditioning of the multigroup cross-section covariance matrix to minimize computation and storage burden. Tikhonov regularization is also employed to improve the conditioning of the data adjustment equations. Expressions are also provided for posterior covariance matrices of both the multigroup cross-section and core attributes uncertainties.