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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.
Z. D. Whetstone, K. J. Kearfott
Nuclear Technology | Volume 176 | Number 3 | December 2011 | Pages 395-413
Technical Paper | Radiation Transport and Protection | dx.doi.org/10.13182/NT10-118
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
This research was conducted to determine the optimal way to shield a compact, isotropic neutron source into a beam for active interrogation neutron systems. To define the restricted emission angle and to protect nearby personnel when stand-off distances are limited, shielding materials were added around the source. Because of limited space in many locations where active neutron interrogation is employed, a compact yet effective design was desired. Using the Monte Carlo N-Particle Transport Code, several shielding geometries were modeled. Materials investigated were polyethylene, polyethylene enriched with 10B, water, bismuth, steel, nickel, INCONEL® alloy 600, tungsten, lead, and depleted uranium. Various simulations were run testing the individual materials and combinations of them. It was found that at a stand-off distance of 1.5 m from the source, the most effective shielding configuration is a combination of several layers of polyethylene and steel. Without any shielding, the dose is 3.71 × 10-15 Sv/source particle. With a shielding consisting of multiple layers of steel totaling 30 cm thickness interspersed with several layers of polyethylene totaling 20 cm thickness, the dose drops to 3.68 × 10-17 Sv/emitted neutron at radians opposite the shield opening. The layered shielding approach is more effective at reducing dose equivalent and neutron fluence than shields made out of single continuous layers of the same material and thicknesses. Adding boron to the polyethylene and substituting tungsten for steel would make the shielding more effective but would add mass and cost.