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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.
S. D. Herrmann, S. X. Li
Nuclear Technology | Volume 171 | Number 3 | September 2010 | Pages 247-265
Technical Paper | Pyro 08 Special / Reprocessing | dx.doi.org/10.13182/NT171-247
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
A series of bench-scale experiments was performed in a hot cell at Idaho National Laboratory to demonstrate the separation and recovery of uranium metal from spent light water reactor (LWR) fuel. The experiments involved crushing spent LWR fuel to particulate and separating it from its cladding. Oxide fuel particulate was then converted to metal in a series of six electrolytic reduction runs performed in succession with a single salt loading of molten LiCl-1 wt% Li2O at 650°C. Analysis of salt samples following the series of electrolytic reduction runs identified the partitioning of select fission products from the spent fuel to the molten salt electrolyte. The extent of metal oxide conversion in the posttest fuel was also quantified, including a 99.7% conversion of uranium oxide to metal. Uranium metal was then separated from the reduced LWR fuel in a series of six electrorefining runs performed in succession with a single salt loading of molten LiCl-KCl-UCl3 at 500°C. Analysis of salt samples following the series of electrorefining runs identified additional partitioning of fission products into the molten salt electrolyte. Analyses of the separated uranium metal were performed, and its decontamination factors were determined.