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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.
D. C. Bowman, C. D. Bowman
Nuclear Science and Engineering | Volume 161 | Number 1 | January 2009 | Pages 125-129
Technical Note | dx.doi.org/10.13182/NSE161-125
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
Graphite-moderated thermal-spectrum subcritical reactors with a long diffusion path from neutron birth to absorption can be driven effectively from a neutron production target outside of the core, in contrast to the commonly accepted view that subcritical power reactors must have the source at the reactor center. Advantages of the external target include (a) elimination of the capital cost of a heavy magnet suspended above the reactor core, (b) elimination of safety concerns related to beam-induced damage from power failure in the magnet, (c) avoiding the disruption of the core to accommodate the neutron target, (d) the elimination of difficulties of access and removal of the target or fuel from the core owing to the magnet, and (e) the elimination of power peaking around the target and related high fuel burnup and materials damage concerns. There are also gains from driving a single reactor with two external targets instead of one.