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Sep 3, 2019

Nation’s first all-digital nuclear reactor dedicated at Purdue

Posted by in categories: economics, education, nuclear energy

Purdue University will support public and private research partnerships at the nation’s first digitally operated nuclear reactor, the school said in a Tuesday press release. Scientists and engineers will look to answer the question of how reliable and resilient an all-digital nuclear reactor, named Purdue University Reactor Number One (PUR-1), can be.

“As the United States and the world continue to implement digital technology, that introduces both strengths and vulnerabilities that need to be explored and understood because our economy relies on the resiliency of these systems,” Clive Townsend, supervisor for the reactor, said in a statement.

Before PUR-1 was converted to digital technology, all US reactors worked using analog technology like vacuum tubes and hand-soldered wires, Townsend said in the release. Purdue’s facility will be the US’ first cyber-nuclear testbed for researchers and corporate partners. It’s licensed by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which ensures safe use of radioactive materials.

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