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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. Bomboni, N. Cerullo, G. Lomonaco
Nuclear Science and Engineering | Volume 162 | Number 3 | July 2009 | Pages 282-298
Technical Note | dx.doi.org/10.13182/NSE162-282
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
The pebble bed gas-cooled reactor is one of the most promising concepts among the Generation III+ and Generation IV reactors. Currently, the pebble bed modular reactor (PBMR) design, both U and Pu and minor actinide fueled, is being developed. Modeling the arrangement of coated particles (CPs) inside a spherical region like a pebble seems to be an important issue in the frame of calculations. To use the (relatively) old Monte Carlo codes without any correction, some approximations are often introduced. Recent Monte Carlo codes like MCNP5 and some new original subroutines that we have developed allow the possibility of obtaining more detailed and more physically correct geometrical descriptions of this kind of system. Some studies on modeling pebbles and pebble bed cores have already been carried out by other researchers, but these works are substantially limited to AVR-type UO2-fueled pebbles. However, the impact of approximated models on fuel mass, reactivity, and reactor life prediction has not yet been investigated for new PBMR-type pebbles.At the same time, an assessment of introducing a stochastic CP arrangement is not so widespread. Analyzing two PBMR pebbles, one Pu- and the other U-fueled, this paper focuses on quantifying errors due to the different approximations generally used to describe the CP lattice inside a high-temperature reactor pebble bed core, as far as mass of fuel, reactivity, and burnup simulation are concerned. This aim was reached also through a new feature implemented in the MCNP5 code, i.e., capability to treat (pseudo) stochastic geometries. Later, we compared the initial mass of fuel, keff, and isotopic evolution versus burnup of some approximated pebble models with the reference model, built by means of this new MCNP5 feature.