Duke – Triangle University Nuclear Laboratory (TUNL)

The TUNL facility is a research partnership between Duke University in Durham, NC, North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC, and University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill in Chapel Hill, NC.  The laboratory focuses on nuclear physics including studies on Fundamental symmetries, Neutrinos, Nuclear astrophysics, and Hadron structure.  In addition, the facility also conducts research on the applications of nuclear physics to topics such as National security, Public health, and Plant physiology.





North Carolina State University – PULSTAR and Simulation Lab Tour

North Carolina State University founded the first university-based reactor and Nuclear engineering curriculum back in 1950.  With the program reaching its 70th Anniversary,  the program continues into the 21st century with the operation of the 1 MW pool-type, light water reactor located inside Burlington Engineering Labs on NC State’s Main Campus.

The primary research purpose of the reactor is to provide a neutron source for activities such as Neutron activation analysis. For example, cobalt-60 irradiators are used by a number of departments to sterilize biological samples. It is also used for professional training for nuclear utility operators and engineers, DOE Interns, and State and local radiation protection personnel.  Furthermore, the reactor enriches the department curricula by providing hands on experience as well as training for students.


The recently renovated Nuclear Simulation Laboratory is equipped with GSE‘s Generic Pressurizer Water Reactor (GPWR) simulator to support nuclear power related educational curriculum as well as analytical studies.

GSE’s GPWR is based upon a reference US nuclear plant that has been in operation and training for over 20 years. The GPWR reference simulator has been built and tested to the American Nuclear Society ANSI/ANS 3.5 Nuclear Simulator Standard. The reference plant simulator and training programs have been rigorously audited by the US NRC and INPO to ensure compliance with regulations and industry standards. The GPWR includes high fidelity models that allow full plant operation including Normal Operations, Abnormal Operations and Emergency Operations as required by ANS-3.5 and the simulator response has been validated against actual operating plant data.

As a full nuclear simulator, it allows for the entire range of operations experienced in a commercial nuclear power plant. The simulator has been integrated into NE 201 and NE 403 to assist students in understanding reactor systems and processes needed for normal and emergency operations.


Shearon Harris Nuclear Power Plant Tour

Shearon Harris Nuclear Power Plant, Unit 1  is located in New Hill, North Carolina – 22 miles southwest of Raleigh. It is a 900 MW pressurized water reactor operated by Duke Energy. Possessing a 526-foot high cooling tower, the $3.8 billion facility began commercial operation on May 2, 1987.  Due to fluctuating economic conditions and demand, only one of the four planned nuclear reactors was built.  The facility is made up of one-half million yards of concrete – which equates to 75 miles of four-lane highway.  Using Harris Lake as its primary water source, the plant is the second largest nuclear facility in North Carolina.

The facility offers an interesting compliment to the nuclear program at NC State because due to its close proximity, you can understand and see the science being put to work.  Duke Energy and the engineering programs at NC State have always had a strong relationship, allowing the education to be supplemented by internships at power plants like Shearon Harris.


UNC Radioisotope Facility Tour                (Biomedical Research Imaging Center, BRIC)

Within the University of North Carolina, the Biomedical Research Imaging Center (BRIC) houses state-of-the-art imaging equipment, directs innovative imaging research programs, and asserts outstanding skill and knowledge in imaging applications. They provide world-class clinical and preclinical imaging services to researchers within the University system and to researchers from institutions and companies in the surrounding area with cutting-edge imaging hardware such as PET/MR,PET/CT, MRI, SPECT, Optical Imaging, and Ultrasound. They also provide image post-processing and statistical analysis services specifically tailored to the needs of individual projects. The innovative research conducted in the BRIC enables both UNC and the global medical community to gain a better understanding of disease development and progression.



GE Hitachi Nuclear Tour

GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) is a provider of advanced reactors and nuclear services. It is headquartered in Wilmington, North Carolina, United States.  Established in 2007, GEH is a global nuclear alliance created by GE and Hitachi to serve the global nuclear industry. The nuclear alliance executes a single, strategic vision to create a broader portfolio of solutions, expanding its capabilities for new reactor, fuel and service opportunities.

The alliance combines GE’s design expertise and history delivering reactors, fuels and services globally with Hitachi’s proven experience in advanced modular construction to offer customers around the world the technological leadership required to effectively enhance reactor performance, power output and safety.

The facility includes the fuel manufacturing, service, and training centers.