Nav: Home

Kansas State University uses $1.5 million grant to upgrade nuclear reactor

September 28, 2015

MANHATTAN, KANSAS -- Kansas State University's nuclear reactor control console in Ward Hall will be getting a much-needed upgrade, funded by a $1.5 million Nuclear Engineering University Partnerships grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.

The entire reactor console will be replaced, including cabling and neutron detectors used to monitor reactor power. While the core and control rods will remain the same, plans include replacing some of the auxiliary monitoring equipment such as conductivity meters and radiation detectors to improve compatibility with the new console.

The existing control console in the mechanical and nuclear engineering departmentreactor facility was procured second hand from the U.S. Geographical Survey reactor facility following an upgrade to its console in the 1990s.

"Researchers and educators in the College of Engineering will be able to more easily access data from the reactor data loggers for use in lab experiments," said Jeff Geuther, nuclear reactor facilities manager and principal investigator of the grant. "The reactor console will feature more redundancy with regard to required safety functions, which will improve safety and reliability."

Many of the current console components are obsolete and difficult to repair, causing frequent reactor downtime due to console reliability issues. The vendor for the original console does not always have ready replacements for broken parts.

"Another reason to upgrade the console, aside from increased reliability," Geuther said, "is that we will be able to improve the interface for operators by incorporating controls and indicators for auxiliary equipment into the main console. We also plan to increase the number of data outputs for classes and experiments."

The objective in the replacement process is to select a bid by January 2016, followed by approximately 18 months for design and construction of the console. Completed installation is set for September 2018. A one-month reactor outage for console replacement is planned for summer 2018 to minimize interruption for classes that use the reactor.

Kansas State University

Related Engineering Articles:

Engineering the meniscus
Damage to the meniscus is common, but there remains an unmet need for improved restorative therapies that can overcome poor healing in the avascular regions.
Artificially engineering the intestine
Short bowel syndrome is a debilitating condition with few treatment options, and these treatments have limited efficacy.
Reverse engineering the fireworks of life
An interdisciplinary team of Princeton researchers has successfully reverse engineered the components and sequence of events that lead to microtubule branching.
New method for engineering metabolic pathways
Two approaches provide a faster way to create enzymes and analyze their reactions, leading to the design of more complex molecules.
Engineering for high-speed devices
A research team from the University of Delaware has developed cutting-edge technology for photonics devices that could enable faster communications between phones and computers.
Breakthrough in blood vessel engineering
Growing functional blood vessel networks is no easy task. Previously, other groups have made networks that span millimeters in size.
Next-gen batteries possible with new engineering approach
Dramatically longer-lasting, faster-charging and safer lithium metal batteries may be possible, according to Penn State research, recently published in Nature Energy.
What can snakes teach us about engineering friction?
If you want to know how to make a sneaker with better traction, just ask a snake.
Engineering a plastic-eating enzyme
Scientists have engineered an enzyme which can digest some of our most commonly polluting plastics, providing a potential solution to one of the world's biggest environmental problems.
A new way to do metabolic engineering
University of Illinois researchers have created a novel metabolic engineering method that combines transcriptional activation, transcriptional interference, and gene deletion, and executes them simultaneously, making the process faster and easier.
More Engineering News and Engineering Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Rethinking Anger
Anger is universal and complex: it can be quiet, festering, justified, vengeful, and destructive. This hour, TED speakers explore the many sides of anger, why we need it, and who's allowed to feel it. Guests include psychologists Ryan Martin and Russell Kolts, writer Soraya Chemaly, former talk radio host Lisa Fritsch, and business professor Dan Moshavi.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#538 Nobels and Astrophysics
This week we start with this year's physics Nobel Prize awarded to Jim Peebles, Michel Mayor, and Didier Queloz and finish with a discussion of the Nobel Prizes as a way to award and highlight important science. Are they still relevant? When science breakthroughs are built on the backs of hundreds -- and sometimes thousands -- of people's hard work, how do you pick just three to highlight? Join host Rachelle Saunders and astrophysicist, author, and science communicator Ethan Siegel for their chat about astrophysics and Nobel Prizes.