NRU2

Irradiated Materials Harvest

On March 31, 2018, CNL permanently shut down the National Research Universal (NRU) reactor after over sixty years of successful operations. During its lifetime, NRU made a powerful and lasting contribution to many areas of nuclear science. These include neutron physics, fuel and materials research for power reactor development, operations and life extension research, and perhaps most notably, nuclear medicine, through the production of medical isotopes. 

NRU contains a wealth of materials and components irradiated in a heavy water environment over a wide range of temperatures (35 °C to 310 °C) flux, and neutron spectrum since 1957 (365,000 hrs) and since NRU’s 1974 vessel replacement (270,000 hrs). 

CNL has developed a program to harvest these materials to provide solutions to meet research and industry needs. 

The NRU inventory includes: 

  • Structural materials, including steels, inconels, zirconium, aluminum, & concrete 
  • A thermal graphite column 
  • Flux detectors 
  • Reactor equipment, including pumps 
  • Elastomers/seals 
  • Electrical cables Research opportunities 
  • Long term operations of CANDU Calandria vessels and other reactor components 
  • Development of dosimetry methodology 
  • Effect of manufacturing origin on zircomium mechanical properties 
  • Irradiation effects on zirconium materials 
  • Effect of microstructure evolution on delayed hydride cracking due to exposure to varies flux 
  • Irradiation effects on stainless steel 
  • Effect of temperature and dose rate on helium bubble evolution in Inconel 
  • Comparison of artefacts against industry data 
  • Irradiation effects on concrete and structural materials, including impacts to structural performance 
  • Irradiation effects on graphite 
  • Irradiation effects on flux detectors 
  • Irradiation effects on instrument control cables 
  • Comparison welds between alloys from out-of-core assemblies 


How to participate 

This program is intended to be a collaborative research project with three possible ways new partners can participate: 

  • Financial contributions
  • In-kind contributions 
  • Combination of financial and in-kind contributions 


CNL will perform research, co-ordinate collaborative efforts, manage administrative details, and organize a joint steering committee to oversee the project based on input from industry and other customers. Contributors and collaborators can participate in various aspects of the research project.  

Contact: Lori Walters, Program Manager, Energy Program

Contact Lori