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Developing a Reactor Operator Training Course Series at Oregon State University

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Nuclear and Radiological Division Technical Session 1

Tagged Division

Nuclear and Radiological

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.387.1 - 24.387.8



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Paper Authors


Wade R. Marcum Oregon State University

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Assistant Professor

Department of Nuclear Engineering & Radiation health Physics

Areas of expertise lie within fluid-structure interactions, experimental thermal-hydraulics, turbulence, reactor safety, system modeling, and advanced nuclear reactor concepts.

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Steve Reese Oregon State University

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Dr. Reese is the Director for the Oregon State University Radiation Center and instructor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Health Physics. The Radiation Center is a multifaceted research facility specializing in research related to the nuclear sciences. The facility houses unique capabilities including the 1.1 MW Oregon State TRIGA Reactor (OSTR), gamma irradiator, thermal hydraulics testing laboratories, radiochemistry laboratories, and extensive radiological spectral and counting equipment. His research focus includes neutron radiography, MCNP, and reactor dosimetry. He obtained a PhD from Colorado State University (1997) in Radiological Health Sciences and a BS from Oregon State University (1991) in General Science. He also holds a Senior Reactor Operating license for the OSTR. He is certified by the American Board of Health Physics and is a member of the Organization of Training, Research, and Test Reactor Executive Committee. Previously, Dr. Reese served as the Reactor Administrator of the OSTR for seven years. Prior to that he served as a Research Scientist at Battelle Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Research activities at Battelle centered on development of a CR-39 automated counting system for low energy neutron environments and responsibility for nuclear accident dosimetry technical evaluations and measurements. He completed his Bachelor’s degree in General Science at Oregon State University and obtained a Ph.D. in Radiological Health Sciences from Colorado State University.

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Robert A. Schickler

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Developing a Reactor Operator Training Course Series at Oregon State UniversityOregon State University’s (OSU’s) Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation HealthPhysics (NERHP) recently graduated its first influx of students participating in the inaugural“Reactor Operator Training” course series. This course series was designed and implemented toprovide students a unique opportunity to acquire hands-on experience interacting and engagingin operations and maintenance activities on a functioning research reactor. Students whosuccessfully completed all requirements identified within the course series were afforded theopportunity to be tested by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and acquire ReactorOperator Licenses on the Oregon State TRIGA® Reactor (OSTR). Five students completed allrequirements and were provided such an opportunity, all of which successfully passed the NRCexamination and are presently licensed reactor operators at the OSTR.Oregon State University houses one of only 30 functioning civilian research and test reactors inthe United States. Facilitating this opportunity for nuclear science and engineering studentsprovides an additional hands-on experience in a practical working environment is intended toprovide a significant ‘leg-up’ as they begin their careers. The staff and faculty that interact withthese select students already see significant improvement in students synthesis of informationfrom a practical perspective. It is these traits that makes students competitive when applying forjobs as they leave Oregon State University and begin to contribute to the nuclear industry andsociety.

Marcum, W. R., & Reese, S., & Schickler, R. A. (2014, June), Developing a Reactor Operator Training Course Series at Oregon State University Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20278

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