Packaging University

  • University of Nevada, Reno Graduate Certificate in Nuclear Packaging:  The U.S. Department of Energy's Packaging Certification Program (DOE PCP) has been working with the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) Mechanical Engineering Department since 2013 to develop an accredited graduate-level nuclear packaging program.  The Graduate Certificate in Nuclear Packaging (GCNP) provides a curriculum in packaging for nuclear and other radioactive materials that complements graduate programs in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Engineering and is more applied-knowledge-based than research-based.  The admission requirements is an earned baccalaureate degree in mechanical, materials, nuclear or a closely-related engineering field, or a baccalaureate degree and background in project management related to packaging of nuclear and other radioactive materials.  The Certificate and its courses have been approved by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), Redmond, WA.External Link

    The purposes of developing the Certificate are to (a) to encourage students to complete a curriculum in packaging safety and security of nuclear and other radioactive materials that has both depth and breadth, and (b) provide a graduate-level curriculum designed to give students an advantage when seeking employment or advancement in the area of packaging of nuclear and other radioactive materials, or related fields.

    The following six courses were developed and offered on a regular basis for EM PCP by the Argonne (ANL), Lawrence Livermore (LLNL), and Savannah River (SRNL) National Laboratories, and have recently been given UNR Mechanical Engineering (ME) course numbers:


    ME 691 - ASME Pressure Vessel Code for Nuclear Transport and Storage, 1 credit (offered only at ​ANL)
    ME 692 - QA for Radioactive Material Packaging, 1 credit (offered only at ​ANL)
    ME 694 - Nuclear and Other Radioactive Materials Transport Security, 2 credits (offered only ​ANL)
    ME 695 - SARP Review and Confirmatory Analysis, 2 credits (offered only at LLNL)
    ME 696 - Management of SARP Preparation, 1 credit (offered only at SRNL)
    ME 697 - Radioactive Material Package Operations and Leak Testing, 1 credit (offered only at SRNL)

    Students who enroll in these ​DOE PCP classes will receive UNR graduate credit if they: (1) Gain special graduate admission to UNR, (2) Enroll in the UNR course and pay tuition, and (3) Pass the course. These credits may be applied toward graduate degrees at UNR or any other university that accepts that credit.

    If students receive a C grade or better in a class, then the student will be able to use the credits toward UNR’s 9-credit GCNP. To earn the Certificate, students must complete ME 691, ME 692 and ME 69​5, which are required. They must take 5 additional elective credits from the above list (while this list currently only contains 4 additional credits, new courses are being developed and planned to be available within the next two years). Finally, to earn the GCNP, students must earn least a B average in the courses.

    For more information regarding admission and application to the UNR program, please refer to the link,,External Link or contact the Program Officer, Dawn Snyder at or by telephone at (800) 233-8928.

  • Thermal Modeling and Testing of RAM Packages, November 13-17, 2017, Albuquerque, NM:  The DOE Packaging Certification Program (PCP) is sponsoring the 2nd annual course on Thermal Modeling and Testing of RAM Packages.  This course provides a comprehensive overview on thermal modeling & analysis and testing practices used to evaluate radioactive material (RAM) packages for certification by DOE or NRC.  The course provides an overview of the following topics:

       •   regulatory requirements,
       •   finite element heat transfer modeling,
       •   computational fluids dynamics (fire) modeling,
       •   phenomena ranking,
       •   measurements and uncertainty,
       •   Safety Analysis Report for Packages (SARP) issues, and
       •   design and performance of thermal testing, including open pool fire, radiant heat, and furnace testing.

    The Course will be delivered over four and a half days, November 13-17, at Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM.  Course activities include certification analysis of RAM packages and exposure to instrumentation installation and field applications.  The Course is taught by members of the technical staff actively engaged in package testing and analysis at Sandia National Laboratories.  These Instructors will also provide tours of the Sandia test facilities, such as the Thermal Test Complex and Lurance Canyon (indoor and outdoor), and lead in-depth discussions of practices and lessons learned at these test sites and from many years of modeling experience.  A written exam will be administered and reviewed at the end of the course.  The course fee is $2,195 USD and is open to US and non‐US Citizens.  The number of participants is limited to 30.

    Prospective participants should be DOE and its contractors and other agency and industry personnel who are responsible for designing, evaluating, or testing Type B and fissile material transportation packages, as well as for preparing or reviewing the associated safety analysis reports.

    To register and pay the $2,195 course fee, go to External Link and be sure to choose "Thermal Modeling and Testing of RAM Packages" from the "Event Name" pull down menu options.   The course is open to US and non‐US Citizens; however, the registration deadline for non‐US Citizens is September 1, 2017 and the deadline for US citizens October 27, 2017, due to site access requirements.   After you receive confirmation of payment, you must contact Pamela Hansen‐Hellwege as soon as possible by email at or telephone at (505) 845‐7158, to receive further instructions and documentation for access to Sandia National Laboratories, which is located on Kirtland Air Force Base.   Non‐US citizens must register and submit access documentation to Pam no later than September 1, 2017 and US citizens must register and submit access documentation by October 27, 2017.

    If you have any questions about this course, please contact Carlos Lopez at (505) 845-9545 or at
  • FY 2017 Course Schedule: Listed below are the Packaging Certification Program (PCP) courses planned in FY 2017.  Courses with ME 6xx prefixes are available for graduate credit at University of Nevada, Reno.  Registration information and course fees will be emailed to RAMPAC subscribers (click here and follow the instructions to be added to the RAMPAC email list) and posted on this page when the registration websites are activated.  Note to DOE/DOE Contractors:   DOE PCP courses are an exempted event and therefore are not subject to the conference management approval and reporting process. (see Exemption approval for PCP_Courses_FY17)
Date Title (course fee) Location
November 13-17  Thermal Modeling and Testing of RAM PackagesExternal Link ($2,195)  Albuquerque, NM

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