To summarize the previous discussion, the McMaster Nuclear Reactor was built in the 1950s to serve as a nuclear research facility. An open-pool design was selected for the MNR because it provides ready access to the reactor core, which is an important feature for an experimental facility. MNR uses plate-type fuel of sintered uranium silicide encased in aluminum cladding: the uranium fuel meat is now low enriched uranium, in keeping with international guidelines for research reactors. The rate of fission in the MNR core is controlled by a combination of silver-indium-cadmium control (absorber) rods and its light-water moderator, which also serves as the reactor coolant. The energy created in the reactor core is converted into heat and ultimately released into the atmosphere via its heat exchangers and cooling towers. The reactor is housed within a full containment structure designed for maximum safety, and located on the McMaster University campus between the Nuclear Research Building and the Arthur Bournes Building. The McMaster Nuclear Reactor operates Mondays-Fridays, 8:00-24:00, and provides complimentary guided tours of the reactor facility. We hope to see you soon!

Chris Heysel and Dave Tucker

McMaster University’s Senior Health Physicist Dave Tucker (left) and Director of Nuclear Facilities Chris Heysel on the bridge of the McMaster Nuclear Reactor.