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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.
A. Jankowiak, F. Jorion, C. Maillard, L. Donnet
Nuclear Science and Engineering | Volume 160 | Number 3 | November 2008 | Pages 378-384
Technical Paper | dx.doi.org/10.13182/NSE160-378
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
This study describes the preparation and characterization of Pu0.5Am0.5O2-x-MgO ceramic/ceramic (cercer) composites with 20 and 30 vol% of Pu0.5Am0.5O2-x. The sintered materials demonstrated very different reduction behavior when exposed to a reducing sintering cycle. The composites were studied by combined X-ray diffraction (XRD) and oxygen-to-metal ratio measurements and exhibited various amounts of body-centered-cubic (bcc) and face-centered-cubic (fcc) phases corresponding to different reduction states of the mixed actinide oxide. The fcc phases correspond to a near stoichiometry phase while the bcc phases are attributed to most reduced phases, which demonstrate a greater similarity with the Am2O3 bcc phase. The XRD results suggest a reduction of Am prior to Pu, which explains this greater similarity. In addition, the 30 vol% composite contains 65 wt% of the bcc phase while the 20 vol% composite exhibits only 29 wt%. This result can be explained by the percolation theory when applied to the oxygen diffusivity and indicates that a threshold value for Pu0.5Am0.5O2-x content in the cercer composite exists where the reduction of the mixed oxide significantly increases.