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MC 00141 Guide to the A. C. Menius, Jr. Papers, 1946-1965

The collection is divided into six series. The Correspondence series primarily relates to the design and construction of the first and second nuclear reactors at North Carolina State College. The Nuclear Reactor Planning, Research, and Operational Materials series contains notes, calculations, reports, and procedures regarding the design and implementation of the nuclear reactors. The Drawings and Schematics series consists of several architectural and construction drawings of selected components of the two nuclear reactors. The North Carolina State College (NCSC) Reports series contains reports written by senior members of the nuclear reactor team regarding its operation. The Safety and Health Committee series documents the work of the committee concerned with safety and health issues regarding the reactor and its use. The University Related Material series consists of material documenting Dr. Menius' work as a professor and administrator within the Department of Physics.
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This series includes letters and memoranda by members of the Department of Physics and Nuclear Reactor staff relating to the design and construction of both the original nuclear research reactor and its replacement. It also includes letters on the use of the first reactor for research, and shipment of reactor fuel and components to Oak Ridge, Tennessee after a leak was discovered.
[Box 1, Folder 1] 1950 - 1951
[Box 1, Folder 2] 1952 - 1953
[Box 1, Folder 3] October 1954 - November 1954
[Box 1, Folder 4] January 1955 - July 1955
[Box 1, Folder 5] August 1955 - December 1955
[Box 1, Folder 6] January 1956 - March 1956
[Box 1, Folder 7] 1957 - 1960
The largest series in the collection, it consists of notes, calculations, reports, and procedures relating to the planning, research, and operation of the first and second nuclear reactors on the North Carolina State College campus. Included are the original proposal for a nuclear reactor at North Carolina State, reports on the program administration and design of the reactor, and a report of a visit to the nuclear reactor at Los Alamos, N.M. Research materials contain calculations and requirements relating to all elements in the design and use of a nuclear reactor, including shielding, materials composition, critical size and mass, bubble effect and gas activity in the reactor. Menius primarily worked on the theoretical calculations for the reactor. Also included are calculations, notes, and reports on the potential for harmful radioactive dosage exposure and safe dismantling and transportation of the first reactor. Operational materials consist of procedure regulations and reports, staff assignments, and reactor staff bulletins.
The series is arranged chronologically and includes many documents with no date.
The original collection contained several spiral notebooks. These have been dismantled for preservation purposes and the notes are now housed in folders.
[Box 1, Folder 8] Pile Kinetics Paper, by L.W. Nordheim, Clinton Laboratories, April 1946
[Box 1, Folder 9] Proposal of a Nuclear Reactor at North Carolina State College, March, 1950
[Box 1, Folder 10] Informal Conference on Nuclear Engineering Education and on the Proposed Nuclear Reactor at North Carolina State College, April 1950
[Box 1, Folder 11] Program Administration and Installation Design of the Nuclear Reactor Project at North Carolina State College, July 1950
[Box 1, Folder 12] Prior Development and Present Status of the Nuclear Reactor Project at North Carolina State College, November 1950
[Box 1, Folder 13] U.S. Atomic Energy Commission , Security Questionnaire, 1950
[Box 1, Folder 14] Spiral Notebook Notes, 1950
[Box 1, Folder 15] Spiral Notebook Notes: Fission Products, Gaseous Products, 1950
[Box 1, Folder 16] Beta Particle Transmission for Aluminum Windows, April 1951
[Box 1, Folder 17] Control and Safety Rods, April 1951
[Box 1, Folder 18] Friction Loss in Stack, April 1951
[Box 1, Folder 19] Rate of Power Rise with Control Rod Removal, April 1951
[Box 1, Folder 20] Water Window Thickness, April 1951
[Box 1, Folder 21] Concrete, June 1951
[Box 1, Folder 22] Report of Los Alamos Visit, June 22, 1951, June 1951
[Box 1, Folder 23] Comparison of Bartyes from Different Sources, July 1951
[Box 1, Folder 24] Design of the Nuclear Reactor at North Carolina State College, July 1951
[Box 1, Folder 25] Exposure Ports, July 1951
[Box 1, Folder 26] Disturbance of Neutron Flux in Reactor by a Control Rod, August 1951
[Box 1, Folder 27] Test of Heat Exchanger for H "2"-O "2" Disposal Unit, August 1951
[Box 1, Folder 28] Shim Widths, September 1951
[Box 1, Folder 29] Spiral Notebook Notes, October 1951
[Box 1, Folder 30] Stack Meterology, October 1951
[Box 1, Folder 31] Boron Curtain, 1951
[Box 1, Folder 32] Enriched Homogeneous Nuclear Reactor, U.S. Atomic Energy Commission,, 1951
[Box 1, Folder 33] Gas System, 1951
[Box 2, Folder 1] Graphite, Lead, and Stainless Steel Requirements, 1951
[Box 2, Folder 2] Rod Removal Rate and General Information Concerning Control Rods at Los Alamos, 1951
[Box 2, Folder 3] Activity of Reactor Cooling Water, January 1952
[Box 2, Folder 4] Envelope Materials, May 1952
[Box 2, Folder 5] Analyses of Uranyl Sulfate and Nitrate (Solid Salts), November 1952
[Box 2, Folder 6] Reactor Instrumentation, 1952
[Box 2, Folder 7] Antimony-Beryllium Neutron Sources, April 1953
[Box 2, Folder 8] Reactor Operating Procedures, September 1953
[Box 2, Folder 9] Miscellaneous Memoranda to Reactor Staff, 1953
[Box 2, Folder 10] Reactor Staff Assignments, February 1954
[Box 2, Folder 11] Reactor Staff Bulletin, 1-2, 1954
[Box 2, Folder 12] Fission Products Xe "133" and I "131", May 1955
[Box 2, Folder 13] Study of Incident Involving Fuel Leak in North Carolina State College Reactor, June 1955
[Box 2, Folder 14] Optimization of a Water-Boiler Type Reactor Phase II 20% U "235" Enrichment, October 1955
[Box 2, Folder 15] Specifications on Valve Assemblies for the North Carolina State College Reactor Assembly, December 1955
[Box 2, Folder 16] Application for Reactor Irradiation of Samples, 1955
[Box 2, Folder 17] Babcock and Wilcox Reactor Calculations, 1955
[Box 2, Folder 18] Reactor Staff Bulletin, 1 and 4, 1955
[Box 2, Folder 19] Revised Shielding of the Reactor, February 1956
[Box 2, Folder 20] Activity in Stack Gas, undated
[Box 2, Folder 21] Activity of Gaseous Products, undated
[Box 2, Folder 22] Bubble Effect, undated
[Box 2, Folder 23] Building Evacuation Procedure, undated
[Box 2, Folder 24] Control Mechanisms and Neutron Sources, undated
[Box 2, Folder 25] Coolant Pipes, undated
[Box 2, Folder 26] Core S.S., undated
[Box 2, Folder 27] Critical Size and Mass, undated
[Box 2, Folder 28] Effect of P "b" and Bismuth in Thermal Column, undated
[Box 2, Folder 29] Effect of Proposed A1 Liners in Vicinity of Reactor, undated
[Box 2, Folder 30] Effectiveness of Series Holding System for Radioactive Gases, undated
[Box 2, Folder 31] Equilibrium of Radioactive Product of Intermittent Reactor Operation, undated
[Box 2, Folder 32] Exposure of Coolant (H "2"O) to Reactor Radiation, undated
[Box 2, Folder 33] Final Report on Concrete Tests, undated
[Box 2, Folder 34] Heat from Fission Product Radioactivity in Reactor, undated
[Box 2, Folder 35] I.D. Tubing Pressure Drop Calculations, undated
[Box 2, Folder 36] Maximum Plutonium (P "u") Production, undated
[Box 2, Folder 37] Preparation and Loading of Fuel Storage Tank into Special Shield for Shipment to Oak Ridge, undated
[Box 2, Folder 38] Preparation of Uranium Foils, undated
[Box 2, Folder 39] Pressure Necessary to Circulate Coolant, undated
[Box 2, Folder 40] Pseduo-Adiabetic Chart, undated
[Box 2, Folder 41] Radioactive "Cloud" and Dosage Calculations, undated
[Box 2, Folder 42] Reactor Calculations, undated
[Box 2, Folder 43] Reactor Instrument Check Out Procedure, undated
[Box 2, Folder 44] Reactor Period vs. Reactivity, undated
[Box 2, Folder 45] Reflector Thickness, undated
[Box 2, Folder 46] Shielding, undated
[Box 2, Folder 47] Slow Neutron Distribution Within Reflector, undated
[Box 2, Folder 48] Temperature Coefficient, undated
[Box 2, Folder 49] U-235 Mass-Volume Relations for Uranium Salt Solutions, undated
This series consists of architectural and construction drawings and schematics of several components of the nuclear reactors. Such components include the catalyst chamber, gas cooler, packed scrubbing tube, and primary condenser. Large scale plans include the H "2"-O "2"disposal system, water boiler, reinforcing details for the nuclear reactor building, and the wiring diagram for reactor cubicle.
[Box 2, Folder 50] Catalyst Chamber, October 1951
[Box 2, Folder 51] Condensate Trap, October 1951
[Box 2, Folder 52] Gas Cooler, October 1951
[Box 2, Folder 53] Packed Scrubbing Tube, October 1951
[Box 2, Folder 54] Primary Condenser, October 1951
[Box oversize, Folder 1] Water Boiler, February 1951
[Box oversize, Folder 2] Proposed Plan, Hydrogen-Oxygen Disposal (2 sheets), June 1951
[Box oversize, Folder 3] H "2"-O "2" Disposal System, October 1951
[Box oversize, Folder 4] 2MXB and 1/2 H.P. Varidrive Syncrogear Motor, October 1951
[Box oversize, Folder 5] Miscellaneous Steel, Nuclear Reactor Building, October 1951
[Box oversize, Folder 6] Reinforcing, Nuclear Reactor Building, October 1951
[Box oversize, Folder 7] Reinforcing Details, Nuclear Reactor Building, October 1951
[Box oversize, Folder 8] Wiring Diagram for Recorder Cubicle for Nuclear Reactor, January 1952
[Box oversize, Folder 9] Gas Cooler, Babcock and Wilcox, August 1955
[Box oversize, Folder 10] Packed Scrubbing Tube, Babcock and Wilcox, August 1955
Includes formal reports by members of the reactor team regarding the operation and procedures of the first reactor and design of the Babcock and Wilcox reactor. Includes first and second annual reports to the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, and reports concerning the reactor leak in May 1955 and the plans for its repair and removal.
The series is arranged chronologically.
[Box 3, Folder 1] Memorandum on Operating Plans for the Raleigh Research Reactor (Beck), February 1953 (NCSC-59,)
[Box 3, Folder 2] An Incident of Polonium Contamination in the Physics Department, Discovered April 10, 1953 (Beck), May 1953 (NCSC-62,)
[Box 3, Folder 3] Procedure for Critical Experiment (Murray and Reactor Staff), July 1953 (NCSC-64,)
[Box 3, Folder 4] Summary of Early Experiments on Characteristics and Behavior of the Raleigh Research Reactor (Reactor Staff), December 1953 (NCSC-67,)
[Box 3, Folder 5] Annual Report to AEC on Raleigh Research Reactor Project (Beck), April 1954 (NCSC-68,)
[Box 3, Folder 6] Calculation of Critical Mass of Babcock and Wilcox Reactor (Murray, Menius and Beck), April 1954 (NCSC-69,)
[Box 3, Folder 7] Flux Distribution in the Babcock and Wilcox Reactor (Murray and Menius), April 1954 (NCSC-70,)
[Box 3, Folder 8] Revision of Reactor Components; Policies and Procedures of Operation (Beck), May 1954 (NCSC-73,)
[Box 3, Folder 9] Critical Loading and Flux Distribution in in Babcock and Wilcox Research Reactor (Murray, Menius and Beck), June 1954 (NCSC-74,)
[Box 3, Folder 10] Information Relative to Instruction and Research in Nuclear Engineering at North Carolina State College (Beck), July 1954 (NCSC-75,)
[Box 3, Folder 11] Optimization of Flux in Homogeneous Water- Moderated, Graphite-Reflected Reactor (Murray and Menius), July 1954 (NCSC-76,)
[Box 3, Folder 12] Report on ASEE Summer Institutes on Inclusion of Modern and Solid State Physics in the Curricula of all Engineers (Beck), September 1954 (NCSC-79,)
[Box 3, Folder 13] Comments on Nuclear Engineering in the Open Conference (Beck), September 1954 (NCSC-80,)
[Box 3, Folder 14] Emergency Procedures in Case of Catastrophe Involving the Raleigh Research Reactor (Beck), September 1954 (NCSC-84,)
[Box 3, Folder 15] University Research Reactors: Their Purpose and Potentiality (Beck), October 1954 (NCSC-86,)
[Box 3, Folder 16] Control Rod Reactivity Values for Babcock and Wilcox Reactor (Murray and Menius), October 1954 (NCSC-87,)
[Box 3, Folder 17] Temporary Loss of Reactivity Due to Precipitation of Fuel in the Raleigh Research Reactor (Beck), November 1954 (NCSC-88,)
[Box 3, Folder 18] Additional Flux Measurements on the Raleigh Reactor (Waltner and Dayton), November 1954 (NCSC-90,)
[Box 3, Folder 19] Effect of Shims on Babcock and Wilcox Research Reactor (Murray and Menius), November 1954 (NCSC-91,)
[Box 3, Folder 20] Second Annual Report to Atomic Energy Commission on the Raleigh Research Reactor Project (Beck), May 1955 (NCSC-103,)
[Box 3, Folder 21] Evidences of a leak in the Gas System of the Raleigh Research Reactor; Plans for Repair (Beck), June 1955 (NCSC-104,)
[Box 3, Folder 22] Further Data on Reactor Operations up to Removal of Fuel from the Fuel Cylinder (Reactor Staff), August 1955 (NCSC-108,)
[Box 3, Folder 23] Memo on Proposed Gamma Irradiation Facility (Beck), September 1955 (NCSC-113,)
[Box 3, Folder 24] Conference with Babcock and Wilcox on Reactor Design (Beck), November 1955 (NCSC-118,)
[Box 3, Folder 25] Current Status of Plans for Revised Physical Facilities of the Raleigh Research Reactor (Beck), February 1956 (NCSC-129,)
This series consists of correspondence, weekly reports, meeting minutes, and memoranda relating to the work of the committee regarding safety and health issues surrounding the reactor project. Also included is correspondence relating to a group of consultants sent to advise the Safety and Health Committee on their responsibility for encouraging research on nuclear radiation and all matters that might involve radiological safety and public health.
[Box 3, Folder 26] 1953 - 1954
[Box 3, Folder 27] January 1955 - April 1955
[Box 3, Folder 28] May 1955
[Box 3, Folder 29] June 1955
[Box 3, Folder 30] July 1955
[Box 3, Folder 31] August 1955 - September 1955
[Box 3, Folder 32] October 1955
[Box 3, Folder 33] November 1955 - December 1955
[Box 3, Folder 34] 1956 - 1958
[Box 3, Folder 35] December 1954 - February 1956
Weekly Reports of the Radiological Safety Officer
[Box 3, Folder 36] 1955
[Box 3, Folder 37] 1956
Includes correspondence and reports relating to Menius' work as a professor and administrator within the Department of Physics at North Carolina State University. Contains curriculum requirements for students in nuclear engineering, letters of recommendation by Menius for former students, vitae and correspondence relating to his work on a search committee for a new Head of the Department of Chemistry, and material relating to two nuclear power short courses for industry.
[Box 4, Folder 1] Letters of Recommendation, 1949 - 1958
[Box 4, Folder 2] School of Engineering, Graduate Requirements, 1949 - 1954
[Box 4, Folder 3] Nuclear Engineering, Curriculum in, 1950
[Box 4, Folder 4] Correspondence, Graduate School, 1953 - 1958
[Box 4, Folder 5] Graduate Staff Meetings, Minutes, 1954
[Box 4, Folder 6] Nuclear Engineering: An Introduction to the Applications of Nuclear Energy (Raymond L. Murray), 1954
[Box 4, Folder 7] Nuclear Power Short Course, 1955 - 1956
[Box 4, Folder 8] Search Committee, Department of Chemistry Head, 1959 - 1960
[Box 4, Folder 9] Faculty Television Lecture, "Science: Its Past, Your Future,", 1965
[Box 4, Folder 10] Training Opportunities in a Nuclear Research Center (Raymond L. Murray), undated


Menius, Arthur C. (Arthur Clayton), Jr., 1916-1996


1.25 Linear feet

General Physical Description note

4 archival boxes and oversized materials


For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Special Collections Research Center Reference Staff external link.



Acquisitions Information

Gift from A. C. Menius, Jr., 1981 August 5.

Acquisitions Information

Gift from A. C. Menius, August 1981.


Processed by: Sarah G. Carr; machine-readable finding aid created by: Nancy J. Kaiser and Katherine M. Wisser

Scope and Content Note

The A. C. Menius, Jr. Papers contain material relating to his work as a physicist and professor at North Carolina State University. The bulk of the material is from 1950 to 1956, and reflects his work on the design, implementation, and operation of the first U.S. non-governmental nuclear reactor, which was built on the North Carolina State College campus, as well as the design of a second reactor by Babcock and Wilcox beginning in 1955. The original reactor was dedicated in 1953, and decommissioned in 1956. The Babcock and Wilcox reactor became necessary after the reactor staff discovered a leak in the original reactor. Other members of the reactor teams whose work is reflected in the collection are Clifford Beck, Raymond Murray, Newton Underwood, and Arthur Waltner.

Biographical Note

1916 Born April 30 in Salisbury, North Carolina
1937 Graduated from Catawba College
1942 Received Ph.D. in physics from University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill
1942-1944 Instructor and assistant professor of physics, Clemson College
1945-1946 Senior Physicist and Head of Battery Group of Proximity Fuse Project, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory
1946 Married Lucille Clark Varner
1949 Arrived at North Carolina State College to teach in Physics Department
1950-1951 Consultant on nuclear aircraft to Sverdrup and Parcel
1950-1956 Involved in the design, implementation, and operation of the first non-government nuclear reactor in the United States on the North Carolina State College campus
1951-1953 Consultant on reactor design to Propulsion Monsanto Chemical
1953-1955 Graduate administrator of Physics Department, North Carolina State College
1954-1956 Consultant on reactor design to Babcock and Wilcox and American Machine and Foundry
1955-1956 Assistant to Dean of Engineering, School of Engineering, North Carolina State College
1955-1957 Director, Summer Institute on Nuclear Energy for Industry
1956 Appointed head of Physics Department, North Carolina State College
1956-1974 Consultant on lasers, missiles, and instrumentation to United States Army Missile Command
1957-1959 Consultant to United States Atomic Energy Commission
1957-1961 Member, Board of Directors, Aeronautical Electronics, Inc.
1958-1960 Director, ASEE-Atomic Energy Commission Summer Institute in Basic Nuclear Engineering
1959 Awarded Alumni Cup at Catawba College
1960 Appointed first Dean of the School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, North Carolina State College
1962-1968 Consultant on range development to Pan American Airways
1962-1969 North Carolina State University Council Representative, Oak Ridge Associated Universities
1962-1972 Consultant to Industrial Nucleonics Corporation
1964-1968 Member, Board of Directors, Adams-Millis Company
1968-1969 Vice-Chairman, Oak Ridge Associated Universities Council
1968-1975 Consultant to Frankford Arsenal
1969 Received honorary Doctor of Science degree from Catawba College
1972 Member, Board of Directors, Research Triangle Institute
1981 Retired from North Carolina State University
1996 Died October 13, in Raleigh, North Carolina

Access to Collection

This collection is open for research; access requires at least 24 hours advance notice.

For more information contact us via mail, phone, fax, or our web form.


Special Collections Research Center
Box 7111
Raleigh, NC, 27695-7111


(919) 515-2273


(919) 513-1787

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], A. C. Menius, Jr. Papers, MC 141, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, North Carolina.

Access to Collection

North Carolina State University does not own copyright to this collection. Individuals obtaining materials from the NCSU Libraries' Special Collections Research Center are responsible for using the works in conformance with United States copyright law as well as any donor restrictions accompanying the materials.

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