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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.
Matthew Memmott, Jacopo Buongiorno, Pavel Hejzlar
Nuclear Technology | Volume 173 | Number 2 | February 2011 | Pages 162-175
Technical Paper | Fuel Design/Defects/ Examination | dx.doi.org/10.13182/NT11-A11545
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
Two innovative fuel concepts, the internally and externally cooled annular fuel and the bottle-shaped fuel, were investigated with the goal of increasing the power density and reducing the pressure drop in the sodium-cooled fast reactor, respectively. The concepts were explored for both high- and low-conversion core configurations and for metal and oxide fuels. The annular fuel concept is best suited for low-conversion metal-fueled cores, where it can enable a power uprate of [approximately]20%; the magnitude of the uprate is limited by the fuel-clad chemical interaction temperature constraint during a hypothetical flow blockage of the inner annular channel. The bottle-shaped fuel concept is best suited for tight high-conversion ratio cores, where it can reduce the overall core pressure drop in the fuel channels by >30%, with a corresponding increase in core height between 15 and 18%. A full-plant RELAP5-3D model was created to evaluate the transient performance of the innovative fuel configurations during the unprotected transient overpower and station blackout. The transient analysis confirmed the good thermal-hydraulic performance of the annular and bottle-shaped fuel designs with respect to the reference case with traditional solid fuel pins.