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University Research Reactors: Issues and Challenges

John A. Bernard, Lin-Wen Hu

Nuclear Technology

Volume 131 / Number 3 / September 2000 / Pages 379-384


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University research reactors are underutilized and, as a result, are being decommissioned. The reason for the lack of utilization is shown to be a chronic inability to generate sufficient funds to procure and maintain state-of-the-art instrumentation for prospective researchers. The role of these reactors in nuclear science/engineering education is explored and the rationale for their continued operation is presented. It is argued that base financial support for both reactor operations and the technical support staff needed to interface with experimenters is necessary if these research facilities are not to be irretrievably lost from the educational infrastructure of the United States.

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