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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.
Justin M. Pounders, Farzad Rahnema
Nuclear Science and Engineering | Volume 163 | Number 3 | November 2009 | Pages 243-262
Technical Paper | dx.doi.org/10.13182/NSE163-243
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
The definition of the multigroup diffusion coefficient for reactor physics problems is not unique; rather, it is based on limiting approximations made to the Boltzmann transport equation. In this paper, we present several new diffusion closures in an attempt to gain increased accuracy over the standard P1-based diffusion theory. First, the Levermore-Pomraning flux-limited diffusion theory is applied to reactor physics problems both in its original form and in a new modified form that makes the methodology more robust with respect to the energy variable. Additionally, two novel definitions of the diffusion coefficient are introduced that permit a neutron flux that is greater than first order in angle. These various diffusion theories are completed by developing consistent boundary conditions for each case. Diffusion theory solutions are computed for each unique closure and are compared against transport theory analytically for a simple half-space problem and numerically for a suite of simplified one-dimensional reactor problems. Conclusions and observations are made for each diffusion method in terms of its underlying assumptions and accuracy of the benchmark solutions.