RightIn 1956, under the guidance of Professors T. Marshall Hahn (subsequently a President of the University) and Andrew Robeson, Virginia Tech was one of the first universities in the Nation to start a nuclear physics program, located in the Physics Department. In 1960, the program built a research reactor in the basement of the newly opened Robeson Hall. Later, the program was renamed and moved to the Mechanical Engineering department where nuclear engineering was offered as an option within the department. In 1985, the program was terminated and in 1990, the reactor was decommissioned.

In response to the growing demand from nuclear industry in Virginia nuclear, in August of 2007 Virginia Tech restarted its nuclear engineering program (NEP) within the Mechanical Engineering Department, and began again to offer undergraduate and graduate nuclear engineering courses. In July of 2013, the program was re- authorized by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia to again offer MS and PhD degrees.

In addition to core nuclear engineering faculty, NEP draws on expertise and courses from the Mechanical in CFD and Materials Science and Engineering Departments in nuclear materials, and expertise from the Physics Department in neutrino physics and accelerated driven system, School Public and International Affairs (SPIA), and Department Science and Technology Studies in nuclear policy. It has initiated discussions with College of Veterinarian Medicine for its activities in radiation therapy and diagnostics.