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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.
L. Mathieu, D. Heuer, E. Merle-Lucotte, R. Brissot, C. Le Brun, E. Liatard, J.-M. Loiseaux, O. MÃplan, A. Nuttin, D. Lecarpentier
Nuclear Science and Engineering | Volume 161 | Number 1 | January 2009 | Pages 78-89
Technical Paper | dx.doi.org/10.13182/NSE07-49
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
Molten Salt Reactors based on the thorium cycle were studied in the 1950 to 1960s to lead to the Molten Salt Breeder Reactor concept, which was finally discontinued prior to any industrial development. In the past few years, this concept has once again been studied in order to generalize it and seek configurations ensuring a high intrinsic safety level, an initial inventory compatible with intensive deployment on a worldwide scale, and a not-too-demanding salt chemical reprocessing scheme.The Thorium Molten Salt Reactor (TMSR) thus defined is studied in the Th-233U cycle in various configurations obtained by modulating the amount of graphite in core to obtain a thermal, an epithermal, or a fast spectrum. In particular, configurations of a fast spectrum TMSR have been identified with outstanding safety characteristics and minimal fuel-reprocessing requirements.