University of Florida Receives Support for Educating Engineers


Congratulations to the University of Florida and the University of Tennessee as the recipient of a $150,000 grant from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in support of their Nuclear Reactor Instrumentation and Control and Digital Implementation projects.

The University of Florida and the University of Tennessee will develop a two semester course covering the design, operation and licensing of Digital Control systems.

AREVA and Siemens Energy are working with the University of Florida College of Engineering to upgrade the University of Florida Training Reactor (UFTR) control system.  Once fully implemented in mid-2011, this digital control upgrade project will represent the state-of-the-art in Nuclear Reactor digital control systems.  In addition, AREVA’s nuclear measurement business unit is providing state-of-the-art CANBERRA contamination monitoring equipment and rate meters.

AREVA and Siemens Energy are providing this upgrade to the University in order to provide significant returns to our respective companies, and to the University and to the State of Florida.

With the completion of the total facility upgrade, the expectation is that:

• The University of Florida will become a show-case for the state-of-the-art in Nuclear Reactor digital control systems to be utilized in support of the next generation of Nuclear Power Generating Stations.

• The installation shall be recognized by industry and regulatory agencies (such as the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission) as a center of excellence for digital control technology, seeking it out for investigative studies and employee training.

• As a result of this installation, the University of Florida will possess one of the most advanced training reactor facilities in the United States, thereby providing unique student teaching opportunities that will prepare the next generation of industry experts in the world of digital reactor controls.

The period of the grant is from July 1, 2010 until June 30, 2011. The grant references the following statement by the former NRC Commissioner and current Deputy Assistant Secretary of Nuclear Energy, Dr. Pete Lyons, “As another notable example of digital evolution, the University of Florida is partnering with AREVA and Siemens … I am encouraged this project will provide significant insights and further advance the digital evolution. It should serve to expose a new generation of scientists and engineers to the challenges of digital applications in a nuclear environment as well as provide a platform for additional research from the University of Florida and at other participating schools.”

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