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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.
Kirk Mathews, James Dishaw, Nicholas Wager, Nicholas Prins
Nuclear Science and Engineering | Volume 163 | Number 3 | November 2009 | Pages 191-214
Technical Paper | dx.doi.org/10.13182/NSE163-191
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
Our partial-current-transport (PCT) approach uses the partial currents through the faces of cells in a spatial grid as the unknowns in a linear algebra problem. Emission and externally incident currents are the knowns. The coefficient matrix is determined by boundary conditions and transport within cells. Adaptive PCT models include within-cell flux-distribution parameters that are found by distribution iteration (DI). Upon convergence, scalar fluxes are computed. We develop the approach in general and derive (in slab geometry) a fixed-coefficient PCT diffusion method and an adaptive PCT discrete ordinates method. A parallelized direct solver is used for the large but very sparse linear algebra problem that couples all the cells. Matrix inversion is used for the dense but small within-cell problems. These direct solvers eliminate scattering source iteration (SI). Though requiring more storage, much or most of the computational effort is pleasingly parallel, making the method attractive for large parallel machines with large memories. In comparing our slab geometry implementation with PARTISN, we observed that DI used as many or fewer iterations than SI and succeeded where SI failed, whether alone or with diffusion synthetic acceleration or transport synthetic acceleration. We conclude that DI for adaptive PCT holds great promise as an alternative to SI and its accelerators.