Established in 1958, the Department of Nuclear Engineering is one of the first nuclear engineering programs in the United States. The Department's programs are at the forefront of nuclear science and technology leading to improved performance of fission-powered reactors, the technological applications of nuclear and radiation phenomena in biomedical, industrial, and environmental fields, and the development of nuclear fusion as an energy source. Both within MIT and in the surrounding Boston metropolitan area, there is a unique concentration of a dynamic learning environment in many fields of science, engineering, economics, and business management.
The Department defines its education and research mission broadly as the study of nuclear, molecular, and radiation interactions and their applications to problems of beneficial interest to society. The development of such applications is a relatively recent activity in the history of mankind, taking place mostly in the second half of the 20th century. Yet, today nuclear technology is a major contributor to the vitality and health of society with its widespread use for electricity generation and industrial and medical diagnostics, and as an indispensable tool for scientific research in fields ranging from pharmaceuticals to environmental studies. Compared to more traditional engineering disciplines, the field of nuclear engineering is a new addition to university educational programs. Because we have only recently begun to understand basic nuclear processes, nuclear engineering is still in its pioneering phase with regard to its impact on our lives.
本系所将教学及研究规划广泛的定义为核子、分子、辐射反应和它对社会有益的应用。这些应用在人类的历史中是相当晚近才开始发展的，多半都是在二十世纪后半才发生的。但是，今日核子科技已经因为其广泛的发电应用、医药和工业界的需求而成为社会活力和保健重要的源头;同时，它也成为从药物学到环境研究等科学研究领域的重要工具。与传统的工程学科相比较起来，核子工程是大学教育中新的领域。由于我们在晚近才开始了解基本的核子反应流程，因此在它对于我们生活的影响范围中，这门学科依旧处在 先导 的阶段。