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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.
J-F. Villard, M. Schyns
Nuclear Technology | Volume 173 | Number 1 | January 2011 | Pages 86-97
Technical Paper | NPIC&HMIT Special / Radiation Measurements and Instrumentation | dx.doi.org/10.13182/NT11-A11487
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
Optimizing the life cycle of nuclear systems under safety constraints requires high-performance experimental programs to reduce uncertainties on margins and limits. In addition to improvement in modeling and simulation, innovation in instrumentation is crucial for analytical and integral experiments conducted in research reactors.Significant efforts have been made recently to improve in-pile instrumentation for the benefit of material testing reactors. The quality of nuclear research programs obviously relies on an excellent knowledge of their experimental environment, which constantly calls for better online determination of neutron and gamma flux. But the combination of continuously increasing scientific requirements and new experimental domains - brought, for example, by Generation-IV programs - also necessitates major innovations for in-pile measurements of temperature, dimensions, pressure, or chemical analysis in innovative mediums.To face these challenges, the CEA (French Nuclear Energy Commission) and the SCK.CEN (Belgian Nuclear Research Centre) have combined their efforts and now share common developments through a Joint Instrumentation Laboratory.Significant advances have thus been obtained in the field of in-pile measurements, on one hand by the improvement of existing measurement methods (for example, a unique fast neutron flux measurement system using fission chambers with 242Pu deposit and a specific online data processing has been developed), and on the other hand by the introduction in research reactors of original techniques such as optical dimensional measurements or acoustical fission gas release measurements.