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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.
Yoshiharu Sakamura, Takashi Omori
Nuclear Technology | Volume 171 | Number 3 | September 2010 | Pages 266-275
Technical Paper | Pyro 08 Special / Reprocessing | dx.doi.org/10.13182/NT10-A10861
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
Two series of pyrochemical reprocessing tests for oxide fuels, consisting of pretreatment, electrolytic reduction, and electrorefining processes, were conducted using [approximately]100 g of UO2. In the pretreatment process, UO2 pellets of the starting material were oxidized into U3O8 powder, which simulated fuel decladding by voloxidation. Then, UO2 sinter with a porosity of 30 to 38% was fabricated from the U3O8 powder. Two cathode baskets charged with [approximately]100 g of the UO2 sinter were prepared, and two electrolytic reduction tests were carried out in a LiCl-Li2O electrolyte at 650°C. The results suggested that the reduction to uranium metal could be completed within 10 h with the current efficiency >62%. It was verified that the porous UO2 sinter was of great advantage to the electrolytic reduction process. In the subsequent electrorefining process, the reduction products were charged in two anode baskets, and electrolysis was carried out in a LiCl-KCl-UCl3 electrolyte at 500°C. Within 8 h, most of the uranium metal was anodically dissolved into the electrolyte with the current efficiency >88%. Dendritic uranium metal was collected on a stainless steel cathode. Consequently, it was demonstrated that a refined uranium metal could be produced from UO2 pellets with a high degree of efficiency.