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Members focus on the dissemination of knowledge and information in the area of power reactors with particular application to the production of electric power and process heat. The division sponsors meetings on the coverage of applied nuclear science and engineering as related to power plants, non-power reactors, and other nuclear facilities. It encourages and assists with the dissemination of knowledge pertinent to the safe and efficient operation of nuclear facilities through professional staff development, information exchange, and supporting the generation of viable solutions to current issues.
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April 8–10, 2021
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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.
C. D. Bowman, E. G. Bilpuch, D. C. Bowman, A. S. Crowell, C. R. Howell, K. McCabe, G. A. Smith, A. P. Tonchev, W. Tornow, V. Violet, R. B. Vogelaar, R. L. Walter, J. Yingling
Nuclear Science and Engineering | Volume 161 | Number 1 | January 2009 | Pages 68-77
Technical Paper | dx.doi.org/10.13182/NSE161-68
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
The results of two experiments combined show that the diffusion length D for thermal neutrons in the graphite studied is 24% larger than expected from classical experiments and that the boron equivalent absorption is smaller than expected and consistent with zero. Taken together, the results indicate a reduction in parasitic thermal neutron absorption in heterogeneous graphite reactors by about 30%. The first experiment measured the z-dependence of thermal neutron flux in a column of 12 t of granular graphite with a neutron source at the bottom. A second measurement was made by pulsing the column with a neutron source at its center and measuring the neutron decay rate as a function of time after a pure exponential decay had been established. The diffusion coefficient D adjusted to a density of 1.60 g/cm3 is 1.05 ± 0.03 cm compared with the commonly accepted value of 0.85 ± 0.013 cm. The absorption in our graphite owing to impurities was found to be <10% of that from carbon alone. The parameter a/D that measures neutron loss was determined to be 0.000235 ± 0.000026 cm-2 for a density of 1.60 g/cm3 and may be compared with the commonly accepted value of 0.000340. The performance of graphite thermal spectrum reactors constructed using our graphite would be significantly enhanced over present expectations because neutron loss to graphite is a major factor in the neutron economy of graphite-moderated thermal reactors.