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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.
Aaron E. Craft, Jeffrey C. King
Nuclear Technology | Volume 172 | Number 3 | December 2010 | Pages 255-272
Technical Paper | Photon and Neutron Transport and Shielding | dx.doi.org/10.13182/NT10-A10934
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
A survey of neutron-attenuating materials is conducted, followed by a systematic optimization of the radiation shield configuration for the Affordable Fission Surface Power System. Water, borated water, boron carbide, boron-doped beryllium, zirconium hydride, and lithium hydride are evaluated for neutron shielding, and tungsten is considered for gamma shielding. Lithium hydride, borated water, and boron carbide are selected for further consideration, and radial, upper axial, and lower axial shield sections are developed separately from these materials and then combined to form complete shields. Two competing effects determine the optimal position of the tungsten layer: increasing secondary gamma production due to fast neutron scattering when the tungsten layer is placed closer to the core, and radially increasing mass when placed farther from the core. The optimal position of the tungsten layer is found for each shield configuration and material. The as-landed configuration of each radiation shield allows a maximum dose of 5 rem/yr to an outpost 1 km from the reactor core. The shield also protects the SmCo magnets in the alternators of the Stirling power converters, allowing a maximum dose of 2 Mrad gamma and 1014 n/cm2 fast neutron fluence to the magnets over the 8-yr design lifetime. A minimum mass is found for each shield section while meeting these dose limits. The radial shield section is cylindrical, and the upper and lower axial shield sections are conical in shape. Axial shields with a range of pitch and thickness are analyzed, and the optimal shapes of the upper and lower axial shields for each material are found. The three sections of the shield are combined to form a complete shield. The lithium hydride shield is the lightest of the final shields at 6215 kg. The borated water shield is the second lightest at 6663 kg, which is 448 kg more than the lithium hydride shield. The boron carbide shield is the most massive at 8315 kg, which is 2100 kg more than the lithium hydride shield.