SCHOTT solutions Nr. 2/2011 > Nuclear Energy

SCHOTT donated glass-to-metal penetration assemblies to support Ohio State University’s Nuclear Engineering Program. Photo: SCHOTT

Advancing Nuclear Safety Education


SCHOTT North America, Inc. supports Ohio State University with its expertise in their Nuclear Engineering Program.


Matthew Kraft

Ohio State University’s Nuclear Engineering Research Reactor began operating in 1961 as an instructional and research center, establishing the base for engineers who would pioneer in developing safety components needed to harness nuclear energy. Fifty years later, Ohio State’s nuclear engineering facilities will advance their academic program and research using Electrical Penetration Assemblies (EPAs) donated by SCHOTT. SCHOTT Director of Sales and Marketing Joe Hale has also joined the Ohio State Nuclear Engineering Advisory Board.
The glass feedthroughs are melted together with glass that resists aging. They resist pressure for decades and remain vacuum sealed – a key advantage when it comes to the safety of nuclear installations. Photo: SCHOTT
As a member of the board, Hale will collaborate with a distinguished group of nuclear industry experts and discuss important issues facing the university’s Nuclear Engineering Program. He will also work with Carol Smidts, Director of the Reliability and Risk Laboratory at the Academic Center for Excellence for Instrumentation, Control, and Safety at Ohio State.

”I look forward to bringing in my experience in the nuclear industry to support OSU’s program and helping foster the ­nuclear engineers of the future. We’re happy to work with the Ohio State University Nuclear Engineering Program to ­advance safety in nuclear facilities,” said Hale. ”SCHOTT’s EPAs possess capabilities previously unavailable to OSU’s nuclear ­program,” explained Smidts, a nuclear engineering professor.

Electrical Penetration Assemblies (EPAs) such as the one SCHOTT has donated are designed to provide a ”pass-through” capability for power, control and instrumentation cables to instruments, control panels, electric motors and many other electric and electronic devices located within the reactor pressure boundary. The assemblies maintain the pressure boundary integrity of the nuclear reactor’s containment structure. ”We will test electrical penetration assemblies within our Distributed Test Facility, which we call the DTF,” said Smidts, who added that she and her students are researching the principles of the Distributed Test Facility and building a prototype.
As a Board member, Joe Hale (left), Marketing and Sales Manager at SCHOTT, supports Professor Carol Smidts (2nd from right) and her team’s research activities by offering his expertise. Photo: SCHOTT
The advantages of the DTF, Smidts explained, include enhanced accessibility to experimental facilities distributed over various geographical locations, support of researchers at different geographical locations who are able to cooperate to perform a large scale experiment, reduced start-up costs and test durations as well as leveraging of existing dispersed instruments. ”The DTF will enable us to test new designs under various experimental conditions that would not have been initially accessible to a particular researcher. In addition, the DTF will be augmented with an automated capability for knowledge management and retrieval,” said Smidts. ”To test and prototype the DTF, an initial infrastructure composed of various representative instruments and experimental loops is necessary. SCHOTT’s EPA is one step toward achieving this goal.” <|