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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.
Masatoshi Yamasaki, Hironobu Unesaki, Akio Yamamoto, Toshikazu Takeda, Masaaki Mori
Nuclear Technology | Volume 180 | Number 1 | October 2012 | Pages 18-27
Technical Paper | Fuel Cycle and Management | dx.doi.org/10.13182/NT12-A14516
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
The use of highly-enriched fuels is an effective method for reducing the number of spent fuel assemblies and improving fuel cycle economics, e.g., with >5 wt% 235U. However, from a criticality safety point of view, such high enrichment levels require a significant investment for the considerable modification of most facilities and equipment. Erbia-credit super-high-burnup fuel offers an effective solution that can solve the problem: Small amounts of erbia added to the entire amount of UO2 powder can reduce the reactivity level to less than that observed at a 5 wt% enrichment level, thus eliminating the need for the modifications mentioned above. A series of criticality safety analyses has been performed to determine the minimum and sufficient content of erbia that can guarantee a suitable erbia credit. As a noteworthy result, the erbia content required was determined for corresponding values of uranium enrichment in a range >5 wt%, as indicated in our ECOS (Erbia COntent for Sub-criticality judgment) diagram. This paper outlines a series of criticality safety analyses and explains how the minimum erbia content can be determined to ensure subcriticality for a >5 wt% enrichment fuel to ensure that the fuel obtained is equivalent to that whose enrichment is <5 wt%.