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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.
Tracy E. Stover, Paul J. Turinsky
Nuclear Technology | Volume 180 | Number 2 | November 2012 | Pages 216-230
Technical Paper | Radiation Measurements and General Instrumentation | dx.doi.org/10.13182/NT12-A14635
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
The safe and economical design of new, innovative nuclear reactors will require uncertainty reduction in basic nuclear data that are input to simulations used during reactor design. These data uncertainties propagate to uncertainties in design responses, which in turn require the reactor designer to incorporate additional safety margins into the design, often increasing the cost of the reactor. Therefore, basic nuclear data need to be improved, and this is accomplished through experimentation, which is often done using cold critical experiments. Considering the high cost of nuclear experiments, it is desired to have an optimized experiment that will provide the experimental data needed for maximum uncertainty reduction in the design responses. However, the optimization of the experiment is coupled to the reactor design itself because with reduced uncertainty in the design responses the reactor design can be re-optimized. It is thus desired to find the experiment design that gives the most optimized reactor design. Solution of this nested optimization problem is made possible by the use of the simulated annealing algorithm. Cost values for experiment design specifications and reactor design specifications are estimated and used to compute a total savings by comparing the a posteriori reactor cost to the a priori cost accounting for the offsetting cost of the experiment. This was done for the Argonne National Laboratory-developed Advanced Burner Test Reactor design concept employing a modified Zero Power Physics Reactor as the experimental facility.