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The University of Missouri Research Reactor Center (MURR) is home to a tank-type nuclear research reactor that serves the University of Missouri in Columbia. As of March 2012 [update] , the MURR is the highest power university research reactor in the U.S. at 10 megawatt thermal output. The fuel is highly enriched uranium.
In 1959, University President Elmer Ellis proposed a research reactor, understanding that the many fields of research to benefit from nuclear science "are a part of the University of Missouri's educational responsibilities to our youth and to all our citizens". The MURR began operation October 13, 1966 about one mile (1.6 km) southwest of the university's main campus and the city's main business district. The reactor building was designed by Cornelius L.T. Gabler and Associates of Detroit, Michigan. The architectural style is mid-century modern. The supplier of construction services was General Electric. In 1970, MURR scientist Dr. George Leddicotte gave the first courtroom testimony on murder trial evidence using neutron activation analysis. Four years later MURR began operating at 10 MW, making it the highest powered U.S. university reactor. Ir-192 was first produced at MURR for fighting breast cancer in 1976.[ clarification needed ] The first small angle neutron scattering (SANS) spectrometer in the U.S. was installed in 1980. In 1986 the first experiments were performed that led to developing Quadramet and TheraSphere, which were later approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for helping fight against bone and liver cancer respectively.
Since 2000, systematic upgrades, renovation, and renewal to MURR facilities and instrumentation in preparation for the next 20 years of licensed operation have taken place. In 2002, a 6,000 sq ft (560 m2) building addition opened the way for expansion into cGMP scaleup of isotopes. Work began in 2006 on a 25,000 sq ft (2,300 m2) addition to house laboratories, classrooms and offices to advance interdisciplinary research, education and treatment of patients. As of March 2012 [update] , MURR supports research of approximately 400 faculty and 150 graduate students representing more than 180 departments from more than 100 international universities and around 40 federal and industrial labs every year. A cyclotron that will supply mid-Missouri with isotopes for PET imaging and support additional research, development, and clinical trials has been installed.
In 2016, MURR was awarded the Nuclear Historic Landmark Award from the American Nuclear Society.
Some important reactor events are summarized here.
|1974||100% power uprate|
|1977||More than 50% increase in operating hours, allowing reactor to maintain over 150 hours per week of operation|
|2001||Original Nuclear Regulatory Commission license expired|
|2037||New 20-year license to expire, at which point either decommissioning or additional license extension would occur|
MURR began the process to renew its operating license in 2006, and responded to requests for additional information in 2009 and 2010.On January 4, 2017, MURR was granted a renewal of the facility operating license, which allows for operation until 2037.
The MURR contributes to research in boron neutron capture therapy, neutron scattering and neutron interferometry, neutron transmutation doping of semiconductor materials, use of radioisotopes for imaging and treatment of cancer, epidemiology, and archaeology, along with many others.
The Archaeometry Laboratory at MURR has been funded by National Science Foundation (NSF) since 1988. The neutron activation capabilities are used to characterize over 30 major, minor, and trace elements in archaeological and geological materials.In addition to neutron activation, the laboratory maintains and operates several X-ray fluorescence spectrometers, multiple ICP-mass spectrometers, and a multi-collector ICP-MS for isotope-ratio mass spectrometry. The laboratory is one of only a handful of facilities in the world to have access to all of these analytical methods.
Data generated by the laboratory are typically used by archaeologists to study issues relating to provenance (geological source) that facilitate understanding of trade and exchange in prehistory. The laboratory also handles analyses of geological materials in support of geology, soil science, and other environmental sciences.
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The neutron scattering program at MURR has a long and productive history. On the one hand, many prominent scientists have graduated from this program and benefited from the in depth, hands on experience afforded by MURR's unique combination of high neutron flux and proximity to a flagship campus (the University of Missouri). On the other hand, cutting edge research continues on the four active neutron scattering instruments of MURR's beamport floor: Triax (a triple-axis spectrometer), NR/GANS (a neutron reflectometer with spin-polarized capability), 2X-C (a multi-detector diffractometer), and PSD (a high-resolution diffractometer with position sensitive detectors). Furthermore, the landmark neutron interferometry experiments performed here have played an important role in opening the field of experimental quantum mechanics.
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Chalk River Laboratories is a Canadian nuclear research facility in Deep River near Chalk River, about 180 km (110 mi) north-west of Ottawa.
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Atomic Energy of Canada Limited is a Canadian federal Crown corporation and Canada's largest nuclear science and technology laboratory. AECL developed the CANDU reactor technology starting in the 1950s, and in October 2011 licensed this technology to Candu Energy.
Neutron scattering, the irregular dispersal of free neutrons by matter, can refer to either the naturally occurring physical process itself or to the man-made experimental techniques that use the natural process for investigating materials. The natural/physical phenomenon is of elemental importance in nuclear engineering and the nuclear sciences. Regarding the experimental technique, understanding and manipulating neutron scattering is fundamental to the applications used in crystallography, physics, physical chemistry, biophysics, and materials research.
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Cooper Nuclear Station (CNS) is a boiling water reactor (BWR) type nuclear power plant located on a 1,251-acre (506 ha) site near Brownville, Nebraska between Missouri River mile markers 532.9 and 532.5, on Nebraska's border with Missouri. It is the largest single-unit electrical generator in Nebraska.
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ISIS Neutron and Muon Source is a pulsed neutron and muon source, established 1984 at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory of the Science and Technology Facilities Council, on the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire, United Kingdom. It uses the techniques of muon spectroscopy and neutron scattering to probe the structure and dynamics of condensed matter on a microscopic scale ranging from the subatomic to the macromolecular.
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In neutron time-of-flight scattering, a form of inelastic neutron scattering, the initial position and velocity of a pulse of neutrons is fixed, and their final position and the time after the pulse that the neutrons are detected are measured. By the principle of conservation of momentum, these pairs of coordinates may be transformed into momenta and energies for the neutrons, and the experimentalist may use this information to calculate the momentum and energy transferred to the sample. Inverse geometry spectrometers are also possible. In this case, the final position and velocity are fixed, and the incident coordinates varied.
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The MIT Nuclear Research Reactor (MITR) serves the research purposes of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It is a tank-type 6 MW reactor that is moderated and cooled by light water and uses heavy water as a reflector. It is the second largest university based research reactor in the U.S. and has been in operation since 1958. It is the fourth-oldest operating reactor in the country.
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Ernest Omar Wollan was an American physicist who made major contributions in the fields of neutron scattering and health physics.