NC State’s Nuclear Engineering Industrial Partners for Senior Design Projects

Design projects provide senior nuclear engineering students an opportunity to work on multifaceted projects under the direction of companies, national laboratories and faculty members. For the last four years, South Carolina State University Nuclear Engineering students have been included on our teams and they spend the spring semester on NC State campus completing these projects and taking classes.

New in the last few years are industry, national laboratory and university partners. For the 2018-19 academic year, they include Idaho National Lab, Oak Ridge National Lab, Los Alamos National Lab, Westinghouse, GE Power, Zachry Nuclear Engineering, Framatome and the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. The seven design projects will be presented to the department, partners and our industrial advisory council in May 2019.

 2018-19 Senior Design Projects

Coordinator: Dr. Mohamed Bourham

Teaching Assistants: Ms. Ishita Trivedi, Ms. Yuqing Huang, Ms. Fatma Abdelrahman

Design of an Autonomous Control of a SMR

Faculty: Dr. Nam Dinh

External Sponsors: Dr. Jeffrey Lane (Zachry Nuclear Engineering) and Dr. Cristian Rabiti (Idaho National Laboratory)

Student Design Team: Tyler Alfonzetti, Kenley Brown, Nathaniel Brown, Kai Duemmler, Makeiba Lewis, and John McDuffie

This project designs an autonomous control system in an advanced reactor. The project will make use of system simulation codes and machine learning techniques in aiding the reactor operation’s nearly autonomous management and control.

Optimize a Small, Modular Water Reactor System using VERA-CS

Faculty: Drs. Dmitriy Anistratov; Maria Avramova will assist in the Thermal Hydraulics (T/H); Scott Palmtag to provide lectures and help on using VERA-CS; and, Ivan Maldonado and Larry Miller, both from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville

External Sponsors: Dr. Ugur Mertyurek (Oak Ridge National Laboratory)

Student Design Team: Jacob Blevins, Trevor Collis, Oluwadamilola Fasina, Devonte’ Hinton, and Ciara Rice

This project will optimize a small, modular pressurized water reactor system using VERA-CS. Students will be given an un-optimized core model with numerous aspects of the design to modify with some constraints. VERA-CS multi-physics will allow evaluation of T/H, fuel performance, neutronics, and depletion quantities of interest.

Design and Optimize Molybdenum-99 Production Capability

Faculty: Drs. Ayman Hawari and Jason Hou

External Sponsors: Dr. Ugur Mertyurek (Oak Ridge National Laboratory)

Student Design Team: Jesse Blankenship, Scott Burke, Matthew Filer, Graham Harger, Kartiga Jordan

This project will design and optimize a Molybdenum-99 production capability in the NCSU PULSTAR reactor, including the extraction and delivery mechanism and calculation of the activity and dose to surrounding areas at every stage of the process. Students will create SCALE/TRITON 2D model of the core to investigate how to optimize Molybdenum-99 production in the core. They will confirm this with a CE Monte Carlo reference solution and perform activity calculations with SCALE/ORIGEN and dose with SCALE/Mavric.

Design of a Critical Benchmark Experiment for Molten Sodium Coolant

Faculty: Dr. John Mattingly

External Sponsors: Dr. Jesson Hutchinson (Los Alamos National Laboratory)

Student Design Team: Haaken Lysne, Irfan Mekic, Ashley Meyer, Jacob Perry, and Gabriel Thomas

This design team will use Monte Carlo neutron transport to design the configuration of the critical benchmark; specifically, they will apply sensitivity analysis to maximize the sensitivity of the benchmark experiment to sodium cross sections for fast neutrons. They will estimate the reactivity worth of the sodium samples inserted in the critical machine and model the machine’s approach to critical to guide execution of the benchmark.

Load Pattern Design Optimization with a Focus on High-Enriched Fuel for a 3-Loop Westinghouse PWR

Faculty: Drs. Maria Avramova and Kostadin Ivanov

External Sponsors: Mr. Baxter Durham and Mr. Shuang Du (Westinghouse)

Student Design Team: Bryson Groccia, Grant Joiner, Cameron Maras, Ashley Scoville, Scot Treadway, and Gerald Sheppard

This design team will create a standard optimized reload pattern as we’ve done in the previous two projects; however, this time they will also be creating an equilibrium high-enriched core (5-7 w/o U235) to compare the benefits of a high-enriched feed strategy versus a standard reload design. There will be a heavy focus of loading pattern development, especially as regards the high-enriched core, as well as the economics for the comparison of the two.

Core Design using PRISM and Coupling Formosa to PRISM

Faculty: Dr. Jason Hou

External Sponsors: Drs. John STRUMPELL and Joseph DECIANTIS (Framatome)

Student Design Team: Joseph Ferrell, Ulric Groves, Donald McGinnis, James Sineath, and Joshua Tieken

The project focuses on a challenging core design using PRISM code, and a focus on coupling Formosa to PRISM with the demonstration of the coupling being the use of optimization in conjunction with manual design process. Formosa is currently integrated with the SIMULATE code which is currently being tested at Duke and so a similar integration with PRISM should be relatively straightforward.

BWRX-300 Load Follow

Faculty: Dr. Robert Hayes

External Sponsors: Dr. Christer Dahlgren (GE Power)

Student Design Team: Anna Deake, Andy Jones, Benjamin Laramee, Netra Patel, Matthew Sanderford, and Gray Taylor

This project will investigate ways of improving the BWRX-300 load follow capability; investigate the most cost effective way to accomplish pre-defined load follow requirements (%/hour increase or decrease); and, investigate load follow using both natural circulation and forced flow circulation options (reactor coolant pumps).