University of Nevada, Reno
Graduate Certificate in Nuclear Packaging

In 2016, the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) Mechanical Engineering (ME) Department began offering a 9-unit Graduate Certificate in Nuclear Packaging (GCNP). It developed this certificate in coordination with the U.S. Department of Energy's Packaging Certification Program (DOE PCP). All courses, graduate certificates, and degrees offered by UNR are accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), Redmond, WA.External Link

The purpose of the GCNP is to provide a curriculum in packaging for nuclear and other radioactive materials that complements graduate programs in Mechanical, Nuclear, Materials and related engineering fields, and is more applied-knowledge-based than research based. The goals of the certificate program are to (a) to encourage students to complete a comprehensive curriculum in packaging of nuclear and other radioactive materials that has both depth and breadth, (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, and (c) help the packaging industry train and advance current and potential employees.

The certificate program admission requirements are either (a) an earned baccalaureate degree in mechanical, materials, nuclear or a closely-related engineering field, or (b) a baccalaureate degree and background in project management related to packaging of nuclear and other radioactive materials.   

The required courses, and most of the elective choices, are offered by the DOE PCP. They are taught by experienced subject matter experts from Argonne (ANL), Lawrence Livermore (LLNL), Oak Ridge (ORNL), Sandia (SNL), Savannah River (SRNL), and other DOE National Laboratories.  UNR teaches additional elective courses, and administers internships that are conducted at national laboratory, government or nuclear industry sites.

The GCNP requires the following three Nuclear Packaging (NP) courses, which present essential information and skills:

  1. NP 700  American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Pressure Vessel Code for Nuclear Transport and Storage, 1 unit, offered by ANL.
  2. NP 701 Quality Assurance (QA) for Radioactive Material Packaging and Storage Casks, 1 unit, offered by ANL.
  3. NP 702 SARP Review and Confirmatory Analysis, 2 units, offered by LLNL.

The GCNP curriculum requires 5 elective units, chosen based on student interests and needs, from the following list.  In addition to NP courses, certain Mechanical Engineering (ME) and Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) courses, offered by UNR faculty, are acceptable electives.  No more than 4 units used toward the Graduate Certificate in Transportation Security and Safeguards (GCTSS) may be used for the GCNP.

  1. ME 675 Introduction to Combustion, 3 units, offered by UNR.
  2. MSE 601 Corrosion of Metals, 3 units, offered by UNR.
  3. MSE 665 Nuclear Power Fundamentals, 3 units, offered by UNR.
  4. MSE 666 Nuclear Fuel Cycle, 3 units, offered by UNR.
  5. MSE 667 Radiation Detection and Measurement, 3 units, offered by UNR.
  6. MSE 668 Nuclear Materials 3 units, offered by UNR.
  7. NP 604 Radioactive Material Packaging QC/QA: Part 1 Welding/NDE Quality Control, & Part 2 Software Quality Assurance, 1 unit, offered by  LLNL.
  8. NP 605  Thermal Modeling and Testing of RAM Packages, 1 unit, offered by SNL. 
  9. NP 606 Containment Analysis of Radioactive Material Transportation Packages, 1 unit, offered by  LLNL.
  10. NP 607  Radiation and Nuclear Criticality Analysis of RAM, 1 unit, offered by ORNL.
  11. NP 608  Radioactive Material Package Operations and Leak Testing, 1 unit, offered by SRNL.
  12. NP 615  Facility Decommissioning and Facility/Site Closure, 1 unit, offered by ANL.
  13. NP 620 Fundamentals of Nuclear Security, 1 unit, offered by SNL.
  14. NP 630 Fundamentals of Nuclear Safeguards, 1 unit, offered by ORNL.
  15. NP 640  Nuclear Packaging Internships, 3 units (Students may take internships at national laboratory, nuclear industry or government sites.  Internships are administered by UNR)
  16. NP 703 Management of Safety Analysis Report for Packaging (SARP) Preparation, 1 unit, offered by  SRNL.
  17. NP 710  Nuclear Security During US Domestic Transport, 1 unit, offered by ANL.
  18. NP 711  Nuclear Security During International Transport, 1 unit, offered by ANL. 

All courses must be completed within six years.

Please direct admissions and enrollment questions to: Kara Cleveland, Director of Graduate School Operations, (775) 784-6869,  For more information regarding the UNR GCNP program, refer to the UNR Catalog (click here External Link), call the UNR Mechanical Engineering Department at (775) 784-6931, or contact Foundation Professor Miles Greiner, Ph.D., at, or (775) 784-4873

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