Nuclear Reactor

The Missouri S&T Nuclear Reactor is a Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) licensed 200 kilowatt pool-type reactor that is used to support the engineering and science activities on campus. Using the facility, the reactor staff provides hands-on laboratory, research & development, and project opportunities. The reactor itself uses uranium fuel and is cooled by either natural convection or a 400 kilowatt forced cooling system in a pool containing approximately 30,000 gallons of water. The reactor generates a brilliant blue glow (Cerenkov radiation) when operated at higher power.

The open pool design allows access to the reactor core where experiments and samples to be irradiated can be positioned. The facility is equipped with a pneumatic sample irradiation system, a collimated neutron beam, a thermal column that provides a diffuse thermal neutron source, a gamma spectroscopy system, computer data acquisition and control systems, and an internet accessible hot cell.

The reactor is open to the greater campus community and offers an active (operations) licensure program for interested students and others. The facility hosts numerous projects that actively engage students of various backgrounds; some recent projects include activities in:

  • applied robotics
  • applied biometrics
  • photolytically-induced material development
  • radiation tolerance of electronic chips
  • instrumentation and sensors
  • convective heat transfer and multiphase flows

We encourage you to contact the facility for additional information.