The possibility that nuclear materials (fissile or radioactive materials) could be used in a terroristattack is one of the most pressing security questions of the present times. Attention is alsoincreasingly being given to the protection of existing nuclear facilities from external threats.These threats fall under the umbrella of nuclear security, and significant resources are beingdirected to enable the U.S. to cope with these concerns. In this scenario, the role of theuniversity nuclear engineering research and education programs is both to perform the researchthat will enable the development of technologies that can protect the country from such threatsand to educate the scientists and engineers that will work in the field.Nuclear energy continues to be a clean, safe, reliable and cost effective source of electricity,which will be increasingly relied upon to fulfill the country’s energy needs, while reducinggreenhouse emissions. Housed within the Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering,the Nuclear Engineering Program at Penn State is an academic program offering the full rangeof degrees including Bachelors of Science, Masters of Science, Masters of Engineering, andDoctor of Philosophy. The Pennsylvania State University is committed to having a prominentNuclear Engineering Program with a strong nuclear power component, through strong supportfrom the Department, the College of Engineering and the Provost Office. This proposal seeksstart-up funds for a new, junior level, tenure-track faculty member in the Department ofMechanical and Nuclear Engineering (MNE) who has expertise in fields relevant to nuclearsecurity, including radiation detection, remote monitoring and development of portablemonitoring sources. The proposal is timely to fulfill the country’s current research needs andwell suited to the existing capabilities at Penn State which will help and complement the newfaculty member’s research and professional development. The new faculty member will benefitfrom a unique educational and research program in Nuclear Security developed at the RadiationScience and Engineering Center at Penn State and multiple collaboration opportunities asdetailed below. The support from the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC),partially matched by Penn State, will provide the funds to assist the new faculty member inhaving a productive career at Penn State.
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- U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission: $450,000.00