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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.
Mathieu Hursin, Thomas J. Downar, Brendan Kochunas
Nuclear Science and Engineering | Volume 170 | Number 2 | February 2012 | Pages 151-167
Technical Paper | dx.doi.org/10.13182/NSE10-75
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
The current state of the art in the analysis of a control rod ejection event in a pressurized water reactor (PWR) relies on homogenization methods in which the assembly-averaged power from a whole-core nodal neutronics simulator is used with some type of flux reconstruction to estimate the individual fuel rod power. Recently, there has been interest in taking advantage of methods that do not require homogenization, such as the DeCART code, to perform time-dependent neutron transport calculations. These calculations could provide not only more accurate pin power results but also intrapin power information during the transient. The work described in this paper is the analysis of a PWR control rod ejection transient using the nodal core simulator PARCS, which employs homogenization methods, and the method of characteristics (MOC) code DeCART, which treats the explicit geometry. Higher-fidelity methods such as those used by DeCART have the potential to quantify the homogenization and modeling errors inherent in the lower-order methods. The methods used in PARCS and DeCART are briefly described as well as the approach to generate the temperature feedback for the rod ejection event. The results are compared and discussed. For the considered transient scenario, PARCS and DeCART are in generally good agreement for the predicted global and local powers as well as for the temperature.