Nuclear Laboratory

Students and faculty of the Nuclear Engineering program, Center for Nuclear Studies, and Nuclear Energy, Science, and Engineering Laboratory, currently use the Department of Mechanical Engineering Nuclear Laboratory.

The Nuclear Laboratory performs a number of measurements involving various existing radiation detection devices; simulate, develop, and test radiation detectors; simulate nuclear reactors of various designs using Monte Carlo codes and solid modeling computer-aided design and computer-aided engineering computer programs; and run several nuclear reactor simulation software packages. These are studied in lecture courses: ENGR 3501 Fundamentals of Nuclear Engineering, ENGR 3502 Radiation Detection & Measurement, ENG 4502 Radiation Protection-Health Physics, and ME 4490 Nuclear Reactor Simulation.

  • The Nuclear Laboratory has the following equipment available:

    • High-Purity Germanium Detector with cryostat, liquid nitrogen tank, and PC control system
    • NaI(Tl) detectors with laptop
    • Geiger counters
    • Rate meter
    • Proportional counter
    • Nuclear Instrumentation Modules (NIM)
    • Diffractometer
    • A number of disk/check sealed sources including P-32, Co-60, Cs-137, Po-210, U-238 (natural uranium), thorium (Th-232), Am-241, etc.
    • Various lead bricks used for radiation shielding
    • Eight computer workstations and several desktops for used with the various detectors and instrumentation
    • Nuclear Reactor Simulation software installed in computer workstations (ten reactor simulators).
  • The following experiments can be conducted in the Nuclear Laboratory:

    • Alpha/beta detection with proportional counters and Geiger counters
    • Gamma-ray detection with Geiger counters, scintillators, and High-Purity Germanium and Detector
    • Gamma-ray efficiency calibration
    • Half-life determination
    • Compton effect quantitative observation
    • Gamma-ray and beta radiation attenuation in matter
    • Demonstrating alpha-particle tracks in a cloud chamber
    • Deflection of alpha/beta radiation in a magnetic field
    • Counting statistics and error determination
    • Simulation, development, and testing of radiation shielding
    • Signal processing with digital electronics
    • High-resolution gamma-ray spectroscopy with a High-Purity Germanium Detector
    • Positron annihilation analyses
    • Testing of KSU-developed radiation detectors and radiation mapping devices
  • Several reactor simulators are utilized in the Nuclear Laboratory to provide an understanding and knowledge about the operational aspects of a variety of nuclear power plant designs. The use of these reactor simulators integrates the previous studies in nuclear engineering and reactor power generation into safe design and operation of nuclear power plants. The reactor simulation exercises cover different reactor designs, normal operations, and response to abnormal conditions and potential accident situations. Focus is placed on reactor physics fundamentals, defense in-depth, reactor start-up, normal ramp-up and operations, transient conditions, reactor feedback, reactor control, accident scenarios, and safe shut-down.

    The following reactor simulators are available in the Nuclear Laboratory:

    • PCTRAN - Personal Computer Transient Analyzer for a Two-loop PWR and TRIGA Reactor. International Atomic Energy Commission Workshop on Nuclear Power Plant Simulator for Education, Politecnico di Milano, Li-Chi Cliff Po, Minano, Italy, 03-14 October, 2011
    • Advanced Pressurized Water, Reactor Simulator, User Manual By Cassiopeia Technologies Inc. Canada, October 2011
    • Nuclear Power Plant Simulators Introduction to CANDU Systems and Operation. G. T. Bereznai and G. Harvel, Faculty of Energy Systems and Nuclear Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Oshawa, Ontario, Canada , 2011
    • Advanced CANDU Reactor (ACR-700) Simulator, Cassiopeia Technologies Inc. Canada, 2011
    • Boiling Water Reactor Simulator with Active Safety Systems, User Manual, International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna, October 2011
    • Boiling Water Reactor Simulator with Passive Safety Systems, User Manual, International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna, October 2011
    • WWER-1000 Reactor Simulator Material for Training Courses and Workshops, Third Edition, International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna, 2011
    • Visual System Analyzer (ViSA), Two-loop Large PWR Simulator, User Manual, Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute

Engineering Technology Center, Building Q
Room Q-309