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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.
Richard Sanchez, Jean Ragusa
Nuclear Science and Engineering | Volume 169 | Number 2 | October 2011 | Pages 133-154
Technical Paper | dx.doi.org/10.13182/NSE10-31
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
An angular approximation of the transport equation based on a collocation technique results as an intermediary step in the search for a set of modified discrete ordinates (DO) equations, which eliminates ray effects. The collocation equations are similar to the DO ones with the only difference being that the scattering term is evaluated with a full Galerkin matrix instead of with the DO quadrature formula. The Galerkin quadrature offers the advantage of a better treatment of scattering anisotropy and a correct evaluation of the singular scattering associated to multigroup transport correction. However, the construction of the Galerkin matrix requires the existence of two equivalent bases in a final-dimensional representation space: an interpolatory basis to retain the collocative nature of the DO approximation and a spherical harmonic basis to represent scattering terms accurately. Up to now, the relationship between these two bases was heuristic, stemming from trial and errors. In this work we analyze the symmetries of the angular direction set and also use the factorized form of the spherical harmonics to derive a set of necessary conditions for the construction of the spherical harmonic basis. These conditions give an analytical explanation to previous heuristic techniques and fully extend them to three-dimensional geometries. We have adopted an assembling method for which extensive numerical tests show that the necessary conditions permit the construction of the Galerkin quadrature from level-symmetric, triangular, and product direction sets up to a high number of polar cosines. Our results can also be generalized to calculate Galerkin matrices for nonregular quadrature formulas. However, these necessary conditions are not sufficient, and we give numerical proof of this fact using different assembling techniques. Our assembling technique allows for the construction of Galerkin matrices from triangular direction sets (for which the DO quadrature is notoriously poor), which have positive weights for up to 44 polar cosines. In three dimensions this quadrature has 2024 angular directions and is able to exactly integrate scattering of anisotropy order 24.