Key pieces of a nuclear reactor that was used to educate Iowa State University students in nuclear engineering are being hauled away. Last week, its 300 fuel rods were shipped to a dump site in South Carolina. Scott Wendt is the now-former reactor manager and says I-S-U is simply changing with the times.With no new students entering I-S-U’s nuclear engineering program, Wendt says it just didn’t make sense to keep the ten-kilowatt, 150-ton reactor running.Wendt is now classified as an associate scientist as of last week’s decommissioning of the reactor. He says it’s very sad to see the demise of a once prosperous industry and his department at I-S-U.The reactor first went on-line in 1959 and was among the first “teaching” reactors run by an American university. Plans call for the rest of the reactor to be dismantled this summer.
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