The University of Wisconsin-Madison is home to a 1 MW TRIGA research reactor, called the University of Wisconsin Nuclear Reactor or UWNR. The UWNR is operated as a teaching and research reactor since 1961. The lab supports a wide range of research and educational endeavors including the Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics (NEEP) department, other departments of the university, and both external educational and non-educational institutions across the United States.

Reactor schematic.

The UWNR is located in the Mechanical Engineering building at University of Wisconsin-Madison. The reactor is about 1/3,000th the size of a commercial reactor; however, because it is a teaching and research reactor, it does not produce electricity.

The UWNR is one of the three facilities composing the Max Carbon Radiation Science Center. To learn more about the Max Carbon Radiation Science Center and its other facilities, visit the Center’s Homepage.

What can a research reactor do?

One of the most exciting operations our TRIGA reactor can perform is a reactor pulse. The power level of the core jumps by a factor of 106 in the matter of milliseconds before self-terminating due to the engineering of the reactor. What to know more and see how it looks? Watch the video below: