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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.
W. F. G. van Rooijen
Nuclear Science and Engineering | Volume 162 | Number 3 | July 2009 | Pages 299-306
Technical Note | dx.doi.org/10.13182/NSE162-299
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
The purpose of this technical note is to introduce a definition for breeding gain and other performance parameters for nuclear reactors and their associated fuel cycle. The newly proposed performance parameters have a more general nature than expressions currently in common use. Since the performance parameters require a weighting scheme, which expresses how individual isotopes contribute to the overall fuel cycle performance (breeding, transmutation, or otherwise) of the reactor, expressions are derived for the isotope weight factors. In this technical note, weighting schemes are introduced for a breeding fuel cycle and a transmutation fuel cycle, and the proposed definitions are applied to specific example calculations of a pressurized water reactor mixed oxide irradiation, a breeder reactor cycle, and a transmutation reactor cycle. It will be shown by an example that a net destruction of transuranic material will not always lead to a reduction of the decay heat released from the spent nuclear fuel. This effect is due to the buildup during irradiation of isotopes with a high decay heat release. With the general performance parameters defined in the present work, it is possible to more fully characterize (advanced) nuclear fuel cycles, incorporating long-term radioactivity in a straightforward manner.