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Question about nuclear engineering programs

  1. Apr 25, 2012 #1
    So, I'm an undergraduate student at an university without a nuclear engineering program, and a prospective graduate student. I am interested in research in nuclear engineering having to do with breeder reactors.

    I was wondering, when I am looking at nuclear engineering programs offered by a certain universities in north america (such as Purdue Nuclear Engineering), which universities would offer this kind of graduate research opportunity (with breeder reactors).

    I am particularly interested in this kind of thing, because it feels like breeder reactors could be one of the key alternative energy sources for the world, before fusion gets commercialized (and is perhaps more in demand than fusion research). Thanks for reading.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 25, 2012 #2
  4. Apr 26, 2012 #3
    I went to Ohio State, and although there weren't any professors at the time that were chiefly interested in breeder reactors, several had it as a side interest (I believe Dr. Aldemir for one).
  5. Apr 26, 2012 #4


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    As a former nuclear engineer, I hate to throw a wet blanket on your plans, but are you sure this is the right way to go? While technically I think you are right about the promise of breeder technology, our society is not showing much inclination to go in this direction. Between the fear of nuclear proliferation and the fear of nuclear waste, a breeder reactor is almost impossible to sell today. It sounds like you are in the US - the last breeder reactor built in the US was in the 1960s. Even France, which is the most pro-nuclear country in the western world, has no breeders running today (I think). India and China are currently pursuing breeders, so if you're prepared to move to Asia maybe this is a reasonable career plan.
  6. Apr 26, 2012 #5


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    GEH has proposed their PRISM reactor as a possible candidate for modular reactors.

    Realize that nuclear companies (even those in the US) are looking globally for opportunities, so even if one works in the US, it would be possible to be working on projects in other countries.

    As for university programs, probably U. Michigan would be a candiate. The particular program would depend on what aspect of fast reactors, e.g., nuclear reactor physics, fuel behavior, structural materials behavior, thermal hydraulic, . . . . is of interest. Then one can pick a program based on the strength of the research and faculty experience.

    See this at U of Idaho - http://www.if.uidaho.edu/~gunner/ME443-543/LectureNotes/LMFBR.pdf
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2012
  7. Apr 26, 2012 #6
    If you know a specific design you are interested in, search for which University the people publishing on the design are from.
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