April 14, 1950 letter from J. H. Lampe to Colonel J. W. Harrelson, with enclosures
Typescript
5 pp.
April 14, 1950
DONRappr041450

A series of letters stating the intent of NC State to proceed with its plans to build a nuclear reactor. Also included are letters from Pitzer and Lampe regarding the reactor.



April 14, 1950 Colonel J. W. Harrelson
Chancellor
N. C. State College
Campus
Dear Colonel Harrelson:

As a result of a conference with the Atomic Energy Commission in Wash-
ington
on Thursday, April 13, North Carolina State College of the con-
solidated
University of North Carolina
has been encouraged to proceed
with its program in Nuclear Engineering and with its proposed nuclear
reactor. Enclosed is a copy of a letter written by Director K. S. Pit-
zer
of the Division of Research of the Atomic Energy Commission. This
letter was written to Acting President Carmichael and Dr. Pitzer asked
me to place the designated copy in your hands. I am also enclosing a
copy of a letter which I wrote to the Atomic Energy Commission setting
forth certain technical details as to our project. I also want to take
this opportunity to express to you my appreciation for your help in this
matter and particularly for the letter which you sent to the Atomic
Energy Commission
in behalf of our Nuclear Engineering work.

The conference of yesterday at Washington, which was attended by Dr. Beck
and me, was held in Dr. Pitzer's office. The Atomic Energy Commission
was represented by a number of their leading technical experts and members
of their legal department. Mr. Carroll Wilson, general manager of the
AEC, and Mr. Sumner Pike, acting chairman of AEC, are both acquainted
with our interest and activity here at North Carolina State College.

The members of the Atomic Energy Commission and staff attending the con-
ference
gave North Carolina State College a really sympathetic hearing.
Their attitude was one of help and encouragement and the following con-
crete
results were agreed upon:


[page 2]

Both Dr. Beck and I appreciate your encouragement and wholehearted support
in our endeavor to develop nuclear training here in the Engineering School.
We believe it is an important milestone in the contributing efforts of
this institution.

Sincerely yours,
J. H. Lampe
Dean of Engineering
JHL:p
Encls.-2
cc: Dr. Clifford Beck

[ Enclosure 1]

UNITED STATES ATOMIC ENERGY COMMISSION
Washington
April 13, 1950 William Carmichael, Jr.
Controller and Acting President
The Consolidated University of
North Carolina

Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Dear President Carmichael:

The Division of Research has been most interested in your proposal to construct
a low power nuclear reactor at North Carolina State College.

This letter is to assure you that the Atomic Energy Commission intends to en-
courage
the North Carolina State College of the Consolidated University of North
Carolina
in its proposal. As you know, there are some aspects of the proposal which
will require further study before the Commission can approve the construction of such
a reactor or allocate fissionable material for the purpose. Principal among these
is the development of a reactor type which will be suitable from a safety standpoint
for location on the University campus and which from a security standpoint will per-
mit
as free disclosure as possible of its design and operating characteristics. These
are problems which we have discussed with you and which seems to us at the present
time to be entirely capable of solution.

We understand that North Carolina State College's present proposal is to build,
house and staff the reactor at its own expense, and that the College desires in turn
to have the maximum possible freedom in determining the teaching and research uses
to which the reactor may be put. This situation is a new one in the Commission's
experience, and for this reason we are particularly eager to learn how far it is
possible to go in making this phase of atomic energy available for normal engineer-
ing
education and research. We believe that North Carolina State College is to be
commended for its initiative in developing the type of engineering education neces-
sary
for full utilization of atomic energy.

The Division of Research is prepared to assist Dr. Beck and Dr. Lampe in
collecting the information and visiting the technical authorities appropriate to
the design of the reactor and the drafting of a detailed proposal. The initiative
in arriving at a satisfactory reactor design and adequate operating procedures
should, in our opinion, be taken by the North Carolina State College.

If we can be of further help in defining the Commission's position, or in
aiding the North Carolina State College in preparing a final proposal, please let
us know.

Sincerely,
K. S. Pitzer, Director
Division of Research
CC: R. W. Cook, Oak Ridge
C. K. Beck
Dean J. H. Lampe
Chancellor J. W. Harrelson

[ Enclosure 2]

COPY NORTH CAROLINA STATE COLLEGE
Physics Department
April 12, 1950 Atomic Energy Commission
Washington, D. C.
Attention: Mr. Carroll Wilson, General Manager
Dear Mr. Wilson:

For almost a year, at North Carolina State College, development of a
curriculum in Nuclear Engineering has been in progress. In September, 1950,
this curriculum will be offered to interested students. It comprises a full
undergraduate course of study, and a fifth-year and master's degree post-
graduate
programs. An attached brochure: "A Curriculum in Nuclear Engineering
at North Carolina State College," describes this program in some detail.

A suggestion has been made that the presence of a low-power nuclear re-
actor
on the State College campus would constitute tremendous advantage in
the instructional aspects of the Nuclear Engineering program and in the as-
sociated
research projects of the graduate training program. Such a reactor
could also be used as an extremely valuable tool in many diverse projects of
numerous research groups in the vicinity of Raleigh.

The second brochure attached hereto, "Proposal of a Nuclear Reactor at
North Carolina State College," presents a preliminary and qualitative descrip-
tion
of a low-power 'water-boiler' reactor, a brief list of the facilities of
North Carolina State College for carrying out the proposed program, and brief
considerations of safety, security, and cost. In this report it is proposed
that the A. E. C. permit a nuclear reactor to be constructed on the North
Carolina State College
campus, and that the A. E. C. furnish the requisite
nuclear fuel for the reactor.

There appears to be ample information available of unclassified and de-
classified
nature for this reactor to be operated as an unclassified unstalla-
tion
, on unclassified categories of research problems. It is proposed that
this be done. The responsible State College staff men involved in design and
operation of the reactor would, of course, be cleared by the F. B. I. and
instructed in the limits of publicly disclosable information. The United
States loyalty of student and research participants, utilizing the reactor
facility in unclassified instruction and investigation, should be definitely
ascertained, but for these it is anticipated that F. B. I. clearance should
not be required.


[page 2]

State College proposes to provide the financial support for the reactor.
With A. E. C. approval of the project, it is anticipated that the requisite
funds can be obtained. Should subsequent developments, however, indicate the
desirability of a portion of the funds being provided by the A. E. C., arrange-
ments
for this should not be excluded by the initial agreement.

It is requested that these proposals be approved and permission be given
for State College to proceed with the design and construction of the reactor.

Specifically, in order for the College to proceed in the procurement of
financial support, in arrangements for a building to house the reactor, and
in the calculations and design of the machine, the following definite committ-
ment
is requested:

Agreement of the Atomic Energy Commission to the idea that, with
satisfactory design, acceptable procedures, and adequate and
responsible staff, an unclassified reactor may be constructed and
operated by State College on the State College campus.

If agreement is reached on this bais idea, additional arrangements,
relative to an efficient, intelligent program for building the reactor, are
requested:

We request your consideration of these proposals.

Sincerely yours,
J. H. Lampe, Dean
School of Engineering

Notes: