ISU Headlines

Nuclear Regulatory Commission contracts with Idaho State University to provide training

Posted September 30, 2009

Idaho State University’s College of Engineering and College of Technology will team up to provide special training courses for engineers.  

The College of Engineering recently received a five-year, $617,000 contract from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to teach the special courses for NRC engineers on the operation and requirements for motor operated valves at commercial nuclear power plants.

Under the direction of Jay F. Kunze, professor of nuclear engineering, the program involves collaboration with the ISU College of Technology and two experienced engineers from the Idaho National Laboratory, Kevin DeWall and Mark Holbrook. DeWall and Holbrook have 25 years of experience working with Motor Operated Valves, serve as adjunct faculty in the College of Engineering and are the principal instructors for the course.  Instructors from the College of Technology will also work with DeWall and Holbrook in teaching the classes.

The College of Technology will be the location for the training. For two courses each summer, the students will use the classrooms and laboratories regularly used by the Energy Systems Technology and Education Center (ESTEC). The labs have been updated to include the motorized operated valve equipment and testing devices which were donated to the College of Engineering by the INL for use in the previous series of these courses five years ago.  

Up until last spring, the equipment was housed in a laboratory on the Idaho Falls campus. With the recent establishment of ESTEC and the need for power plant technicians to be familiar with this type of equipment, the College of Engineering agreed to transfer the equipment from its laboratory in Idaho Falls to the College of Technology in Pocatello where the equipment would get more use year round.  

This training program is an example of the importance of engineers and technicians working together.  It also demonstrates the role that experts in research and development programs can play in education and training of those who are involved in current power plant operations and maintenance activities.