Proposal of a Nuclear Reactor at North Carolina State College
24 pp.
March 30, 1950

Dr. Clifford Beck proposes the building of a joint North Carolina State College-Atomic Energy Commission 5 KW nuclear reactor of the uranium "water-boiler" type. To be used as the core of an instructional and research program in Nuclear Engineering, Dr. Beck reasons that Duke University, the University of North Carolina, several medical schools and a number of other institutions in the vicinity of Raleigh, North Carolina, would benefit from the proposed reactor program. Enclosing a tentative schematic design of the reactor, and identifying key faculty and research members associated with the project, Dr. Beck estimates that detailed design and construction can be accomplished in from eight to ten months and would be completed at a total cost of $150,000.

Professor and Head, Physics Department

Written: July 5, 1949
Revised: March 30, 1950


The North Carolina State College of Agriculture and Engi-
proposes to build a 5 KW nuclear reactor of the uranium
"water-boiler" type to be used as the core of an instructional
and research program in Nuclear Engineering. In addition to
State's Nuclear Engineering program, it is anticipated that Duke
, the University of North Carolina, several medical
schools and a number of other institutions in the vicinity of
Raleigh, North Carolina, would benefit from the proposed reac-

Facilities of State College relative to the proposed reactor
are briefly described, as well as the types of unclassified re-
which might be done with the machine.

A tentative schematic design of the reactor, with emphasis
on the physical security of the fissionable material and the safety
of operating personnel, is presented. It is estimated that detailed
design and construction can be accomplished in from eight to ten
months, at a total cost of $150,000. North Carolina State College
would undertake to defray the major portion of this cost with
funds from sources other than the Atomic Energy Commission.

Request is made of the Atomic Energy Commission for ap-
of the overall proposal, for loan of the requisite fissionable
material, and for assistance and advice in design and construction
of the reactor.

[page 1]


In recognition of a growing demand for the instruction and training
of rising engineers and scientists in various aspects of atomic engineer-
, and in anticipation of an even greater need in this field as new
peacetime and military applications of nuclear processes are developed,
the North Carolina State College of Agriculture and Engineering has em-
on an expansion program in the Physics Department, and in re-
engineering departments, designed to provide training at the grad-
level in Nuclear Engineering. This program is in keeping with the
philosophy, often expressed by leaders of the Atomic Energy Commis-
, that, for America to maintain her preeminence in the field of atomic
energy development, the people of the country, industry, and the estab-
educational institutions must carry their full share of the respon-

The schools and colleges, especially the technical schools, have a
responsibility to their students and to the country as a whole to provide
opportunities for training in the new fields of technical development in-
in potential applications and by-products of nuclear processes.
Hence, the decision of State College to enter the field of instruction in
Nuclear Engineering.

In order to provide training of maximum practicality and usefulness
in this field, it is proposed that a small nuclear reactor, of the water-
type, be built on the State College campus. North Carolina State
is in position to provide experienced personnel and to defray the
major cost of the program, except for the cost of the fissionable material,
which, it is hoped, the Atomic Energy Commission will agree to provide.

[page 2]


Two chief uses of the nuclear reactor are anticipated:

1. Instruction.

The reactor will provide the heart around which the instructional
program for senior undergraduate and graduate level students in Nuclear
Engineering will be organized. All instructional and laboratory activities
will be related in a very practical and realistic way to the actual opera-
of a working reactor. When, for example the students in a certain
class study the problems of shielding, or remote operation of control
rods, an observation of these components of a functioning unit will pro-
extremely valuable experience.

Professors and instructors, many of whom have not had the oppor-
to work on atomic energy developments, will be greatly aided in
their instruction of students by opportunities to gain first-hand experience
with the reactor.

The initial design, construction and operation of the reactor and the
auxiliary instruments and facilities, and the changes in design and opera-
tion from
time to time, will provide ideal research problems and indi-
activities for practical training of faculty and graduate students.

2. Research.

In Nuclear Engineering, the nuclear reactor will constitute an ideal
core around which a major portion of research in the departments con-
can be built. A large field of investigation in every component
part of Nuclear Engineering as well as numerous individual problems
involving use of the radiations from the reactor, will provide continuous
challenges to faculty and students.

The research fields which can be entered with the reactor are num-
and varied, and in most fields the number of individual problems
is very large. A few types of research problems are listed:

  • 1. Shielding; materials, theories of attenuation, etc.
  • 2. Effects of radiations on materials of construction.
  • 3. Effects of radiation on chemicals and chemical reactions.
  • 4. Fission products; identity, chemical and physical characteristics,
    uses in other research problems.

  • [page 3]

    It is recognized, of course, that adequate attack on many problems
    in these fields can only be made with reactors providing much higher
    levels of radiation. It is equally true, however, that there are many
    problems in each of these categories which can be investigated with the
    radiation available from the modest reactor proposed. Every effort
    will be made to restrict the investigations and operation of the reactor
    to unclassified problems. But despite the limitations to unclassified
    problems and the relatively low radiation level available, the quantity
    and potential importance, both academically and practically, of researches
    available for investigation with the proposed reactor should not be under

    [page 4]


    The proposed reactor consists of a few essential parts and a small
    number of auxiliary systems. A diagrammatic sketch is rendn in
    figure 1.

    The bulk of the reactor assembly will consist of a single massive
    block of concrete, cylindrical in shape, 30 feet high and 25 or 30 feet in
    diameter, (depending on results of detailed shielding calculations). A
    vertical, coaxial cylindrical hole, 4 feet in diameter, will be left in the
    center of the concrete cylinder; and in the base of the concrete cylinder,
    an opening 15 or 20 feet in diameter and 8 feet high will also be left.
    The reactor proper, its reflector, some shielding if space permits, the
    control and safety rods, and other auxiliary systems will be mounted in-
    the vertical cylindrical opening at the center of the concrete block.
    The top of the cylindrical opening will be covered by slabs of concrete,
    which can be added or removed by an overhead crane.

    For physical security of the fuel system, the reinforced concrete
    slabs on top will be held in position by concealed bolts extending verti-
    through the shield and terminating in the room in the base of the
    concrete structure. These slabs cannot be removed until the bolts are
    unscrewed from the room below.

    The room left in the base of the structure, called the Vault Room,
    can be entered through only one opening. This is protected by a heavy
    vault door, and a massive concrete plug which can be moved aside on a
    motor driven track. The fuel system is built into the concrete in such
    fashion that any access whatever is prohibited except through the Vault
    Room in the base of the concrete and the 4-foot opening at the top. The
    latter may be entered only after bolts holding the reinforced slab are
    released from below. Hence, as security against theft, the fissionable
    material is protected on all sides either by reinforced concrete or a
    massive vault door behind a huge concrete plug.

    1. The fuel system.

    A totally enclosed solution-containing system is visualized.
    The solution will normally be stored, when not in use in a large,
    flat, inverted conical-shaped vessel of stainless steel imbedded
    in the concrete shielding. A pipe will extend upward from the
    storage vessel, through a valve, to the spherical reactor. Rub-
    balloons inside a pneumatic pressure chamber, connected to
    the storage vessel, will provide the mechanism for forcing the
    solution up into the reactor.

    Figure One: Schematic Diagram of the Reactor
    Shield is cylinder of concrete, 30 feet in diameter, 30 feet high, with
    vertical 4 foot coaxial hole and hollowed out base. Reactor, Reflector, control
    mechanism, and auxiliary systems are housed in the central coaxial cylindri-
    cavity. Base cavity, closed by heavy vault door, provides only access to
    Reactor System; room used for solution processing, radiation exposure, and
    Special experiments. Top covered by concrete slabs. Mobile (on wheels)
    Concrete plugs in vault door, end of thermal column, and under reactor.

    [page 5]

    The reactor will be provided with a cooling coil and a one-
    re-entrant passageway through which samples to be exposed
    may be passed. From the reactor, a tube will extend up into an
    overflow "bubble" trap and from this another tube will extend up-
    to a large balloon which will expand and contract as fuel is
    forced into or out of the reactor.

    A short pipe, projecting from the lowest point of the flat,
    conical storage vessel into the Vault Room in the base of the
    assembly, provided with valves and connection flanges for at-
    transportation fuel cylinders, sample tubes, refill
    vessels, etc., will be used for addition or removal of solution.

    The fuel system will be made entirely of stainless steel,
    with all-welded connections. All tubes or vessels of the system
    will be embedded in channels in the concrete shielding, except the
    one tube extending into the Vault Room in the base of the assembly.

    2. Reflector.

    Around the reactor, a reflector of 20 inches or so in thick-
    , composed of suitable neutron reflector materials will be
    provided. A horizontal cylindrical passage through the reflec-
    (and through the surrounding shielding), perhaps 3 inches in
    diameter, tangent to the surface of the reactor, through which
    exposure samples may be passed, will be arranged. Horizontal
    passage for samples to the re-entrant hole in the reactor will
    also be provided, as well as vertical passages near the reactor
    in which control and safety rods will move. The nature
    of the reflector material will be decided later.

    3. Shielding.

    The massive concrete block of the reactor assembly will
    provide 10 to 12 feet of concrete around the sides of the reactor.
    Slabs may be placed on top to any desired thickness. Underneath
    the reactor, if desired, layers of concrete totaling 4-5 feet, may
    be moved horizontally by motor-drives to close the central ver-
    shaft immediately under the reflector, to provide shielding
    for the room below, For certain experiments, it may be desirable
    to withdraw the concrete layers to provide unshielded radiation
    to the room below. The walls of the Vault Room will be 5 feet
    thick, and a slab of reinforced concrete will serve as the floor.

    Various channels and passages through the concrete will be
    so arranged as to leave ample external shielding, and will be de-
    to minimize the amount of scattered radiation.

    [page 6]

    4. Thermal column.

    Adjacent to one side of the reflector and extending hori-
    outward for 5 or so feet, will be a column of graphite,
    3 feet in diameter, for "thermalizing" neutrons. At the exterior
    face of this column, a 3-foot beam of slow neutrons, about 106 or
    107/cm2, will be available for experimental purposes. When not
    in use, the column will be shielded by a 5-foot plug of concrete,
    arranged to move in or out on a motor driven track.

    5. Control and Safety Features.

    Inasmuch as this reactor will be used on a university campus,
    (even through at a somewhat remote point), extraordinary attention
    will be given to safety and control mechanisms. Unusually thick
    shielding will be provided. Several independent safety rods, ar-
    to fall by gravity under predetermined conditions, will be
    provided. Rapid addition of solution or rapid removal of control
    rods, resulting in fast increases in reactivity, will be made im-
    by design of the mechanism, and will be further guarded
    against by meters automatically set to release safety rods if pre-
    rates of increase are exceeded. Rapid automatic release of
    the fuel from the reflector-enclosed reactor to the unreflected,
    geometrically safe storage vessel, in case pre-set neutron levels
    are exceeded, is being incorporated in the design.

    6. Cooling system.

    A small copper tube, e.g., 1/2 inch, forming a water-carrying
    system extending from outside the concrete shielding through welded
    junctions into the reactor and out again, will constitute the cooling
    system. If further calculations rend that disposal of the cooling
    water will become a problem because of induced radioactivity, a
    recirculating system, with a small specially designed pump, may
    need to be included in the design.

    7. Fuel required: Power level.

    According to Dr. Christy's estimates in MDDC-72, about
    1 kilogram of enriched U-235, more or less depending on the reflec-
    used, in water solution, as nitrate or sulfate, is needed for
    operation of a water boiler. The proposed reactor is intended for
    operation at a maximum power level of about 5 KW. This should
    be easily amenable to control and operation, and should provide
    adequate radiation levels for its anticipated use. A reactor of
    this size should yield an internal flux of about 1011 , and a flux
    of 107 thermal neutrons per cm2 per sec. at the face of the graphite
    column (MDDC - 72).

    [page 7]

    The fission of 1 gram of U-235 should provide 1000 Kilowatt
    days of power. With the reactor operating at 5 KW output, 1 gram
    of U-235 should provide 200 days of continuous operation. The
    reactor, on the average, probably will not operate at maximum
    level more than five out of each twenty-four hours. Therefore,
    fission of one gram should require several years.

    This would mean that addition of fuel or re-processing of fuel
    for removal of fission products should have to be done very
    rarely. When this does become necessary, provisions are incor-
    in the design for withdrawal of the fuel into shielded con-
    . The solution could then be shipped back to Oak Ridge and
    there re-processed or exchanged for a new supply.

    8. Instrumentation, Control panel.

    It is intended that a clear area 15 to 30 feet wide be main-
    on all sides of the reactor in order to provide maximum
    accessibility and flexibility in use of auxiliary equipment. The
    operating-control panel will be located to one side of the reactor,
    and so arranged that all necessary instruments for operation
    and control will be within easy reach of one operator. The op-
    will have no other duties than those involved in operating
    the control mechanism. Manipulation of auxiliary experimental
    equipment, etc., will be the responsibility of other persons, and
    controls, meters, etc., associated with experiments will be com-
    separate and removed from the reactor control panel.
    The key instruments on the control panel will be equipped with
    indicating meters, either audible or visual or both, and with
    automatic recording mechanisms for providing permanent rec-
    . At the rear of the control panel, on the side fartherest from
    the reactor, a small demonstration classroom for 50 or so stu-
    , with elevated tiers of seats, is intended.

    9. A Building for the Reactor.

    There is on the State College campus a building excellently
    adaptable as the reactor site. (Fig. 2). This building, 52 feet
    wide, 102 feet long and 55 feet high, was constructed during the
    war by the Bureau of Mines for use in blast furnace research
    investigation, but was not used for this purpose. The 20 feet
    nearest the front of the building is arranged with four floors of
    offices, work rooms, and laboratories. The remaining portion
    of the interior at street level is in the form of a single huge
    (52' x 82') work area, with no partitions, at 10 feet above base-
    level. The terrain contour permits a truck driveway en-
    to the first floor level on one side of the building, and to
    the basement level on the other side.

    Figure Two: Bureau of Mines Building, State College Campus

    Figure Three: Interior of Bureau of Mines Building

    [page 8]

    Figure 2 rends a portion of the furnace area inside the
    building. The steel-beam roof supports (not visible) are 45
    feet above the floor. Provisions are incorporated for an over-
    crane in this area. Toward the right side of the floor area,
    through an opening in the floor, a portion of the basement may
    be seen.

    At the rear center of the building a large stack, originally
    intended for furnace exhaust, is located. (Figs. [1, 2,]). This
    stack, extending some 40 feet above the roof of the building,
    would provide an excellent means for dispersal into the atmos-
    of small amounts of undesirable gases which might de-
    in the reactor work.

    The Bureau of Mines Building is located on one edge of the
    engineering and agricultural quadrangle of the campus. The Sea-
    tracks lie 100 feet to the rear of the building.
    Across the street on the east side of the building lies the site on
    which is now being erected the new Mechanical Engineering Build-
    . Next, beyond the Mechanical Engineering Building lies the
    Zoology Building, then the new Engineering Research Building,
    and the Physics Building.

    In preliminary conferences, there have developed promising
    indications that the Bureau of Mines will be willing to permit use
    of their building for the reactor site. Bureau officials have, in
    fact, expressed an interest in arranging a program of joint par-
    with State College in nuclear researches in metallurgy
    which might involve use of the reactor as a tool. Both the possi-
    of a joint program and use of the building as a reactor
    site are being explored further.

    The Bureau of Mines Building, though ideally suited to house
    the reactor, cannot provide adequate space for the sample pre-
    rooms, counting rooms, radio-chemical synthesis and
    analysis laboratories, which should accompany the reactor. Some
    of these, of course, could be located in the building, but more
    space, in an added wing or in a separate, adjacent building should
    be provided.

    [page 9]


    1. General.

    North Carolina State College is located at Raleigh, North Caro-
    , the capital of the state. The University of North Carolina, at
    Chapel Hill, and Duke University at Durham, are 25 and 20 miles,
    respectively, from Raleigh. The fast growing new University Medi-
    is at Chapel Hill, the famous Duke Medical School is at
    Durham, and the widely-known medical school of Wake Forest is
    at Winston-Salem. All these, as well as numerous other institu-
    in the nearby area, would be expected to participate in the
    benefits of the proposed reactor.

    Broad technical curricula in three major divisions and
    several smaller divisions of North Carolina State College are
    offered the 5000 students. The major divisions are: School of
    , recognized as one of the leading textile schools in the
    nation; School of Agriculture, one of the largest and most pro-
    in the south; and the School of Engineering, which in
    the last 4 years has experienced remarkable expansion and im-
    in personnel and curriculum. The departments of
    chemical, civil, electrical, ceramic, metallurgical and mechan-
    engineering, which will participate directly in the Nuclear
    Engineering and Reactor programs, are particularly strong.

    The Physics Department, until recently, has had a staff of
    some 18 - 20, engaged primarily in service instruction of students
    in other fields on undergraduate levels, with little attention being
    given to advanced instruction and research. The department is
    now committed to a policy of expansion at advanced levels and to
    an emphasis on research, with the double objective of (1) provid-
    sound instructional support of advanced programs in other
    fields and (2) offering a curriculum leading to Ph.D. training in
    Engineering Physics and Nuclear Engineering. A number of men
    with advanced training will be added to the staff as rapidly as
    they can be procured.

    The Chemistry Department, under a new department head, is
    in sound condition, with staff and curriculum adequate for train-
    of men to the Ph.D. level.

    The Research Engineering Department of the School of Engi-
    is a rather unique and quite successful venture into the
    somewhat unstandardized field of relationship between a state's
    technical college and the industries of the state, The department
    devotes its attention solely to research and development projects,

    [page 10]

    most of which are directly involved in industrial or governmen-
    activities and operations. The department is supported partly
    by college subsidy and partly by the industries interested in the
    research projects. Very close coordination and liaison is main-
    between the work of the Research Department and the re-
    of the other departments. Exchange of personnel and
    joint usage of equipment is encouraged.

    2. Coordination between departments.

    One item worthy of particular mention is the usual extent
    of coordination and mutual assistance between individual depart-
    of the Engineering School, in furtherance of the over-all
    goals of instruction and research. Whether or not the proposed
    reactor is built, for example, a considerable portion of instruc-
    in the Nuclear Engineering program, which will be the pri-
    responsibility of the physics department, will be obtained
    by the student from courses in the chemical, electrical, metal-
    , and mechanical engineering departments. Much of the
    research program to be instituted by the Physics Department
    will have mutual interest for other departments and a number
    of projects will be joint undertakings with other departments.

    The combined interest, and the availability of equipment and
    personnel from all departments concerned constitutes a tremen-
    asset to the proposed reactor program, and greatly enhances
    the prospects of success for the program. The reactor program,
    in turn, would be expected to increase the coordination and co-
    between the various departments.

    3. Interests in radioactivity.

    Numerous shipments of radioactive isotopes have been ob-
    by State College research teams from the Atomic Energy
    . A number of experiments, principally in the School
    of Agriculture
    , are now underway. Many more experiments are
    under consideration, but are being hampered by the lack of
    trained personnel. There is a large and growing demand for
    training facilities in radioactive tracer technology. It is intend-
    that instruction in this field be initiated as soon as possible,
    whether the proposed reactor program is approved at once or

    Approval of the reactor proposal would lend enhanced in-
    to this field, would permit the curriculum content and
    laboratory location to crystallize in accord with requirements
    which will exist when reactor operation begins, and would as-
    availability for research purposes in the laboratories of

    [page 11]

    the area a variety of materials and facilities not now available.

    4. Buildings.

    A major expansion in physical facilities at State College is
    in progress. Altogether, some 18 or 20 million dollars have
    been allocated for new buildings. A number of departments will
    have entirely new quarters, and others will have considerably
    enlarged space. A large new building intended to house Chemi-
    Engineering, Research Engineering, and a portion of the re-
    and advanced laboratory activities of other departments
    will be completed about April, 1950. This will be followed by a
    new Mechanical Engineering building and addition of two floors
    onto the Civil Engineering building and a 4 story wing adjacent
    to the Electrical Engineering building, A new library is author-
    , as well as 4 to 6 new buildings for the School of Agricul-

    Plans for adequate equipment for the new buildings (e.g.,
    electron microscope, x-ray machines, etc.) are included in the
    construction program.

    5. Personnel.

    A considerable list could be given of persons on the State
    staff with excellent training and ability who would be
    available for assistance and participation in the reactor design,
    construction, operation and research.

    Dr. Arthur C. Menius, Jr., theoretical physicist, has
    had extensive experience in electron microscopy, x-
    research, and (during the war at the Applied Phys-
    of Johns Hopkins University) on proximity
    fuse research. He has made significant contributions
    to calculations and design study of the proposed reactor,
    and will play an important role in the use of the reactor.

    Dr. Arthur Waltner, experimental physicist, has ex-
    training and experience in nuclear physics and
    design of electronic apparatus. His assistance in in-
    for the reactor and his participation in
    the subsequent nuclear research program should be
    quite significant.

    Dr. Nathan Hall, chemist, has now in process a number
    of experiments involving use of isotopes from Oak
    , He attended the training school in Radioactive
    Tracer Techniques of the Oak Ridge Institute for Nuclear

    [page 12]

    Studies, and participated in research problems involv-
    active materials at Beltsville, Maryland, and at other
    places. Dr. Hall will be expected to participate strongly
    in research projects involving the reactor.

    Dr. Philip Pike, chemical engineer, has made significant
    contributions in research on various chemical engineer-
    problems at North Carolina State College. He is now
    (spring and summer, 1950) at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, be-
    indoctrinated in the practices and techniques relating
    to radioactive materials. Upon his return he will continue
    his researches on chemical engineering problems, with
    the use of active ingredients as tools in the investigation.

    Dr. J. H. Jensen, plant pathologist, is widely recognized
    for his researches in plant pathology. He spent one and
    one half years as chief of the Biology Branch of the Atomic
    Energy Commission
    's Division of Biology and Medicine,
    and still continues as a consultant to this division. He is
    also serving as chairman of the subcommittee on Waste
    Disposal and Decontamination in the Bureau of Standards.
    In the fall of 1949 he returned to full time work as profes-
    and head of the plant pathology department of State
    . He is extremely interested in the proposed re-
    and will make extensive use of its radiation in his

    Dr. A. G. Guy, metallurgist, had 3 years experience in
    research with the General Electric Company, on Pre-
    Hardening Studies and High Temperature Alloys,
    before joining the mechanical engineering department of
    North Carolina State College. He is now studying metallic
    diffusion, and plans to use radioactive atoms in this study.
    His use of the reactor is expected to be considerable.

    Dr. E. M. Schoenborn, professor and head, chemical
    engineering department, is keenly interested in the re-
    and educational possibilities of the reactor. He
    is an unusually productive research scientist, with a val-
    background of collaborating and consulting exper-
    with such industrial organizations as Pratt and
    , Synthetic Rubber, the Koppers Company, etc.,
    on problems of fluid flow, distillation, heat transfer and
    production of plastics. Dr. Schoenborn is interested in
    continuing his researches, with the use of radiation and
    radioactive materials as tools in securing information
    which otherwise would not be accessible.

    [page 13]

    There are numerous other members of the college staff who
    would participate significantly in the research program involving
    the reactor. The above named constitute a fair sampling from
    various departments of State College. No attempt can be made
    here to list the various individuals at other institutions who
    would make effective use of the reactor in their research pro-
    . Leaders in several groups have expressed unusually keen
    interest in the success of the effort to obtain a reactor at State
    . Among these are: Dr. Paul Shearin, professor and
    chairman of the Physics Department of the University of North
    ; Dr. Walter M. Nielsen, professor and chairman of the
    Physics Department of Duke University; Dr. Arthur Roe, direc-
    of the radiochemical laboratory at the University of North
    , and Dr. Van Cleave, who is the leader in the radioac-
    research program of the medical school of the University
    of North Carolina

    In the final analysis, however, it is recognized that responsi-
    for the reactor program and the safety and security of the
    personnel (and the fissionable material) must be entrusted to per-
    who have had training and experience in the actual operation
    and behavior of nuclear reactors. Final approval of the design
    and the safety of the reactor, of course, will be given by the Com-
    experts, who it is hoped, will also be available during
    subsequent operation for consultation and advice. But for oper-
    and day to day decisions, there should be at least a few key
    men who have had first-hand experience in reactor behavior.

    The experienced persons who will be available to the re-
    program at North Carolina State College are:

    Dr. Clifford K. Beck, formerly Director of Research for
    Carbide and Carbon Chemicals Corporation at the K-25
    laboratories in Oak Ridge, and currently Head of the
    Physics Department of State College. Dr. Beck has had
    wide general contacts with the various reactors on the
    commission, and in addition has had specific experience
    in two fields directly related to the proposed reactor
    program: (1) for 3 years he was chairman of the Special
    Hazards Committee of the K-25 Plant, with primary re-
    for safety of the plant from inadvertent ac-
    of fissionable material in reactive quantities.
    (2) For 3 years, Dr. Beck was the leader and personally
    responsible director of a uranium criticality research
    team which brought to a chain-reacting condition more
    individual assemblies of uranium than any other known
    group. Dr. Beck and his team spent 3 months at Los

    [page 14]

    Alamos in 1946 being trained in this work, and from that
    time to September 1949 was continuously engaged in
    studies of critical accumulations of uranium under a
    variety of conditions.

    He is now an active consultant on criticality prob-
    to the K-25 plant at Oak Ridge and to the Atomic
    Energy Commission
    at Hanford, Washington, and is also
    a Responsible Reviewer for the Commission, involved
    in information declassification activities.

    Dr. Raymond L. Murray, presently completing require-
    for the Ph.D. degree in the University of Tennessee
    program at Oak Ridge, will join the Physics staff at State
    College in the summer of 1950. He has had three years of
    direct experience in performing critical experiments on
    uranium compounds, in theoretical calculations, and in
    responsibility for the Special Hazards program at the
    Electromagnetic Separation plant at Oak Ridge. His total
    experience of 6 years at Oak Ridge includes a large amount
    of theoretical and experimental research on ionization and
    behavior of ions, mass-spectrographs, and cyclotron de-

    At least one additional man with considerable experience in
    criticality work, of at least Master's degree training, will be em-
    by State College to assist in the operation of the reactor.

    Additional men in the vicinity of Raleigh possessing valuable
    background experience in theoretical and experimental association
    with reactor problems, who have expressed a willingness to render
    assistance with the reactor as needed are, Dr. Eugene T. Greuling,
    theoretical physicist, with experience at Los Alamos and Oak Ridge;
    Dr. L. Nordheim, wartime director of the theoretical physics di-
    at Oak Ridge, and Dr. Henry Newson, experimental physicist,
    who engaged in critical experiments at Oak Ridge and Los Alamos.
    These three are from Duke.

    Tentative thought has been given to the possibility of organiz-
    a Steering Committee of experienced reactor men in the vicinity
    or Raleigh, for the purpose of periodic scrutiny and guidance of the
    operation of the reactor and research program.

    [page 15]


    1. Physical Security of Fissionable Material.

    By using a totally closed fuel system, with all-welded stain-
    steel construction, and totally enclosing the system inside
    of reinforced concrete, with the only access to the system being
    a massive vault door covered with a large plug of concrete, it
    is hoped that a large portion of the security requirements of the
    Commission can be met. Necessary alteration or supplementa-
    of the watchman policy of the college, if needed can be worked
    out in consultation with A. E. C. representatives.

    2. Safety of Personnel

    Research in the physics department of almost any modern
    university involves use of high voltage, x-rays, highly com-
    gases, cyclotrons, etc. Hazards and potential hazards
    are encountered in every increasing numbers. To these, which
    have become somewhat familiar, one must now add the simul-
    glamorous but sinister hazard of radioactivity and re-
    radiations. These hazards, however, like all others, can
    be avoided by adequate safety training, insistence on approved
    technique, and where possible, built-in, fool-proof automatic
    safety features in the equipment itself.

    Unusual attention will be given to safety features in the re-
    design. Large margins of safety will be incorporated in
    the design, to the extent that even possible accidents involving
    uncontrolled increases in radiation, will not result in serious
    exposure of personnel. In addition thereto, incorporating safety
    consciousness in the basic techniques will be stressed as part
    of the general training of all participants in nuclear engineering.

    3. Classified Information.

    It is intended that the operation and uses of the reactor be
    kept entirely in the field of unclassified research. Part of the
    design of the machine, certain features of its operation, and in-
    information encountered in its use, however, may
    fall into classified categories. It is proposed, therefore, that
    the staff directly concerned with the design and operation of
    the machine,. and such others as later appears desirable, be
    cleared by the Atomic Energy Commission for access to clas-
    information. Training will be given these men as to the
    boundaries of classified information, and those areas of know-
    which must be safeguarded. Should restricted information
    of interest be encountered in reactor operation or use, such in-
    will be processed through regular Atomic Energy

    [page 16]

    Commission channels.

    Dr. Beck has been for several years a Responsible Re-
    for the Commission, with responsibility for rendering
    decisions according to Commission policy on information
    which may be released to the public, and he will continue to
    serve in this capacity under consultant contract. Up-to-date
    information, therefore, will be available at all time on Com-
    policy on unclassified areas of research.

    4. Safe Operation.

    The Atomic Energy Commission and, of course, the ad-
    of State College will have vital concern that the
    reactor should never exceed safe operating limits at any time.
    On the project, numerous reactors have operated in safety for
    several years. Two factors are essential: (1) sound design
    of the equipment and (2) operation by dependable, experienced,
    personnel. Before final approval of the reactor design or
    initial operation, both the A. E. C. and State College should
    be satisfied that both these requirements are adequately met.

    5. Finances.

    If approval is given by the Atomic Energy Commission for
    the reactor to be constructed, it is believed that State College
    will be able to supply the necessary financial support. It is
    requested, however, that provision be made in the contract
    for such instrumentation relating to the reactor as may be
    available in Atomic Energy Commission surplus stocks, to be
    made available to State College. The Commission may wish
    to contribute a share of the cost of such projects as may be
    specifically performed for the benefit of the Commission. It
    is suggested that the Commission underwrite the cost of any
    guard system considered necessary for the physical security
    of the fissionable material, beyond that normally provided by
    the College watchman system and the built-in safeguards of
    the assembly.

    [page 17]


    If the overall idea, that a low-power nuclear reactor along the lines
    described above can be built and operated on a university campus as a
    tool for instruction and research in Nuclear Engineering, is compatible
    with the policy of the Atomic Energy Commission, and if approval is
    given the proposal to design and build such a reactor at North Carolina
    State College
    , a rough time schedule of operations and an approximate
    estimation of costs can be conjectured. The minimum time requirements
    are listed below. Somewhat longer time schedules may actually be

    April 1950 - Submission of initial proposal to the Commission,
    followed by conferences, discussions, etc.

    May 1950 - Approval by the Commission; establishment of
    lines of contact between the A. E. C. and N. C.
    State College
    ; initiation of F.B.I. clearance of

    June - August
    1950 - Theoretical calculations, crystallization of re-
    design, auxiliary systems, preparation of
    blueprints. Close contact and coordination with
    A. E. C. groups, Construction or alteration of

    September 1950 - Construction and assembly of the reactor;
    to January 1951 "dry" runs.

    January 1951 - Delivery of Fissionable material from A. E. C.

    February 1, 1951 - Initial operation of the Reactor.

    [page 18]

    The cost involved in constructing and equipping the reactor are
    difficult to estimate. The numbers quoted below are believed to be of
    the correct order of magnitude,

    (Auxiliary counting rooms, tracer laboratories, sample
    preparation and purification facilities, etc., are not included).