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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.
Clifford E. Singer, Hermann von Brevern
Nuclear Technology | Volume 176 | Number 2 | November 2011 | Pages 227-237
Technical Paper | Fuel Cycle and Management | dx.doi.org/10.13182/NT11-A13298
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
Formulas are given for extrapolating uranium prices that could result from future trajectories for the cumulative use of native uranium. The logarithm of the extrapolated price is given by a monotonically increasing trend curve plus a sinusoidal oscillation calibrated to historical data. The trend curve as a function of cumulative extraction of native uranium accounts both for accessing lower ore grades and for exploiting more-difficult-to-access richer ores as the more easily accessed richer ores are depleted. Accounting for both of these effects, the logarithm of the monotonic price trend is linear in the logarithm of cumulative extraction of native uranium, with least variance between observations and data of a power-law slope of 1/4.5 up to the point where a limit on the accessibility of the remaining highest-grade ores is reached. (However, a slope of 1/5.6 gives an almost equally good fit.) As an example, a ratio 4 of maximum depth of other mines to maximum depth of current uranium mines is used as a measure of the accessibility limit. This limit is first reached when the background trend curve uranium price reaches $143/kg of elemental uranium, in U.S. dollars inflation adjusted to year 2007 prices ($US2007). Thereafter, the accessibility limit gradually reduces the cumulative amount of native uranium extracted at a given cost below that computed from the power law, multiplying it by a factor of 0.59 when the trend price reaches 300 $US2007/kg. Increases of nuclear energy produced per kilogram of uranium mined with increasing uranium costs are also accounted for. A fraction of global nuclear energy users can develop a higher nuclear energy production rate per kilogram of mined uranium, e.g., by reusing the fissile material in spent fuel. Resulting cumulative cost changes as a function of cumulative nuclear energy use are presented in graphical and tabular form for a variety of input parameters.