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2021 Student Conference
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.
E. F. Kryuchkov, V. A. Apse, V. A.Yufereva, V. B. Glebov, A. N. Shmelev
Nuclear Science and Engineering | Volume 162 | Number 2 | June 2009 | Pages 208-213
Technical Note | dx.doi.org/10.13182/NSE162-208
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
In the opinion of some experts in problems of nuclear nonproliferation, the threat that subnational terrorist groups may become owners of gas centrifuges is real. If enrichment of feeding uranium increases from 0.7 to 20%, then the scope of separative works and amount of the feeding uranium needed for uranium enrichment up to the weapons-grade level decreases by many times. In this connection it can be expected that a potential nuclear proliferator will use gas centrifuges for illegal reenrichment of 20% uranium, taken from export deliveries for research reactors or from any other sources, up to weapons-grade quality and then manufacture a crude nuclear explosive device. These reasons indicate that besides reduction of uranium enrichment to 20% 235U, other measures may also be required to upgrade self-protection of 20% uranium against its unauthorized reenrichment.Denaturing of 20% uranium due to the admixture of small 232U amounts (~0.1%) creates an effective barrier against its renrichment up to the weapons-grade level because in the reenriching process the following occurs: (a) the content of 232U increases; (b) the internal source of alpha radiation intensifies; (c) UF6 molecules are destroyed by alpha particles from decays of 232U with generation of low-volatile uranium fluorides and free fluorine; and (d) the neutron emission rate intensifies too, and this results in a cardinal reduction of energy yield from the chain fission reaction (CFR) by three orders of magnitude. So, uranium denatured with 232U becomes quite unattractive for potential nuclear proliferators.The authors are continuing the studies on the effects induced by the 232U admixture on the radiation resistance of UF6 and on the energy yield of CFR in reenriched uranium.