Our research reactor (OSURR), in operation since 1961, is a pool‑type reactor that is utilized for a variety of instructional, research, and service activities. It is licensed to operate at continuously variable thermal power up to a maximum of 500 kilowatts, and at maximum steady‑state power, the average thermal neutron flux in the core is approximately 5x1012 n/cm2/s. The reactor is immersed in a pool of light water that provides moderation and cooling by natural convective flow. In addition to the reactor, the OSU-NRL houses a professional gamma-ray spectroscopy system and two gamma irradiators.
Our facility is used for a wide range of research endeavors, including neutron activation analysis (NAA), radiation-damage evaluation for electronic components and for other materials, evaluation of neutron and radiation sensitive detectors, isotope production, and biomedical experiments. The OSU-NRL provides a variety of instructional services ranging from general tours to individual and group laboratory sessions and research projects structured to student and faculty interests.
The OSU-NRL is not constrained by a fixed duty-cycle, allowing great flexibility in scheduling research and education and performing demonstrations and laboratories that include power changes. Many laboratories include start-ups and shut-downs, allowing students to observe the reactor dynamics associated with these. The facility is made available by appointment on a first-come, first-served basis during regular business hours.
The OSU-NRL is centrally located within Ohio, making it very accessible to all institutions in the state. In addition, Columbus is home to an international airport, making the OSU-NRL very accessible to out-of-state users.