North Carolina State University reactor program

North Carolina State University Reactor Program

Reactor Less

North Carolina State University reactor program

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NC State's was the first university based reactor program and Nuclear Engineering curriculum, and is still running today. The first research reactor was built in 1953, scaled up in 1957 and 1960 (referred to as R-1, R-2, and R-3), and finally deactivated in 1973 to make way for the PULSTAR reactor. The old reactor is now decommissioned and the PULSTAR is used for a variety of purposes which include training and research. The reactor is located in on NCSU's main campus, which was built to house the first reactor and then expanded and renamed when the PULSTAR was built.

The current reactor is one of two PULSTAR reactors built, and the only one still in operation. The other reactor was a 2 MW reactor at the State University of New York at Buffalo, which went critical in 1964 and was decommissioned in 1994.

Current Reactor Operations

The PULSTAR reactor is situated along Engineering Row in the main campus, surrounded by , , , and a park. The reactor has a dedicated building and uses one cooling tower which can be seen releasing water vapor when the reactor is at high power. This building is not a Containment building but maintains a negative pressure so that should there be a release of radioactive material, it would not seep out of the reactor building. The reactor can be operated up to a power of 100 kW on natural circulation, or 1 Megawatt...
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