Image of Reactor Core
 

Radiation Science & Engineering Center

The Radiation Science & Engineering Center (RSEC) was established in 1990 to manage Penn State's comprehensive nuclear research facilities, including the Breazeale Nuclear Reactor, Gamma Irradiation Facility, Radioactive sources and Radiation measurement resources. The RSEC is an independent unit under the Vice President for Research and the Dean of the College of Engineering at Penn State University. The RSEC provides safe nuclear analytical and testing facilities in support of the research and education activities of faculty, staff, and students at Penn State. The Center's resources are also available to users from other universities and educational institutions, governmental agencies, and corporations as part of the public service functions of the Penn State University, symbolized by its status as the Land Grant Institution of The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The RSEC facilities, most of which are housed in the Breazeale Nuclear Reactor Building, are some of the most unique and flexible in the country.

Penn State Reactor Expands Size and Opportunities

Penn State’s Radiation Science & Engineering Center and the Ken and Mary Alice Lindquist Department of Nuclear Engineering broke ground on a 10,000-square-foot, $9.5 million expansion of the Breazeale Reactor on Oct. 21. The nation’s first licensed and longest continuously operating nuclear research reactor, Breazeale’s expansion will accommodate an equipment donation valued at $9.8 million and facilitate more advanced neutron beam research as well as the growth of nuclear engineering at Penn State. Read more...

 Unlu, Allian, and Shwartz at the Breazeale Expansion Groundbreaking Ceremony

Neutron instrument VSANS will be moved to Penn State

At the end of 2019, the Berlin neutron source BER II was shtudown as scheduled. To ensure that the high-quality instruments can continue to be used for research, they are moving to suitable neutron sources in Germany and abroad. Now, another move has been agreed upon: The Very Small Angle Scattering Instrument (VSANS) will find a new home at the Breazeale Research Reactor at Penn State University, USA, in spring 2022.  Read more...

VSANS


Nuclear science, engineering spark collaborations across Penn State and beyond

The RSEC and the Ken and Mary Alice Lindquist Department of Nuclear Engineering joinly map research endeavors with expansion and $9.8M equipment donation  Read more...


Women's History Month - Penn State Women in Nuclear

CoE_WomensHistoryMonth

In 1972, Jackie Scheurin Tate (pictured far left), a senior in nuclear engineering, became the first woman to earn a reactor operator license at Penn State. In 1990, Candace Davison (pictured far right), who is an assistant director for education and outreach at the Radiation Science & Engineering Center, was the first woman to be licensed as a senior reactor operator at the University.

$100K Nuclear Engineering Alumnus Gift Supports Reactor Licensing Program

The Moul Family Fund for Reactor Operator Internships, Don and Julie Moul's $100,000 endowment will allow undergraduate and graduate nuclear engineering students to earn their federal nuclear operator license through a yearlong training program and exam — all at no cost.  Read more...Interns in the Control Room

Investigating Amelia Earhart's disappearance mystery with neutrons

Researchers at Penn State's Breazeale Nuclear Reactor are using neutron radiography and neutron activation analysis to examine the external and internal makeup, respectively, of a metal patch that may belong to Amelia Earhart. Read more...

Earhart

Eugene Wigner Visits Penn State

Despite attempts of getting Nobel Laureate Eugene Wigner to guest lecture at Penn State, the Physics Department couldn't convince him to make the journey. Instead, the Director at the Penn State Breazeale Reactor, Sam Levine, convinced Wigner to come during a chance encounter with the promise of seeing the PSBR Pulse. This is the story.

Dr. Ünlü received ANS Radiation Science and Technology Award

RSEC's director, Dr. Kenan Ünlü, was selected to receive the 2020 Radiation Science and Technology Award from the American Nuclear Society (ANS) Isotopes and Radiation Division (IRD). He will be honored at the ANS Winter Meeting, held virtually from Nov. 16-19. Read more about it, here:

Dr. Unlu stands with a model of the new heavy water reflector

U.S. Army - Operation Nittany Lion increased deployment readiness during COVID 

RSEC is proud to have assisted the 20th CBRNE Nuclear Disablement Team 3 with their training. Read more about their exercise here:

 U.S. Army Nuclear Disablement Team 3

Parents & Families Weekend Virtual Open House

Thank-You to everyone who participated in the 2020 Virtual Open House! Hopefully we'll see in you in person, soon. In the meantime, keep checking in for facinating stories from the reactor's past from our alumni.


 

65th_Collage

On August 15, 1955 the world's first civilian nuclear reactor reached criticality on the campus of Penn State University. This year, we're celebrating 65 years under the R-2 License and preparing for many more to come.

 

Candace Davison, Assistant Director for Education and Outreach, participates with OLLI at Penn State as an instructor

RSEC Eduation and Outreach is adjusting to online instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic.

OLLIatPennState

Illuminating Illusions exhibit at HUB is now digital

RSEC contribution to the Penn State Museum Consortium exhibit, Illuminating Illusions, is now available online.

DisplayCase

RSEC featured in Research Penn State Magazine

Nuclear Options by Cherie Winner was published in Research Penn State Magazine in Fall of 2018. You can find it on page 12 or read it online.

"Research reactor fulfills Ike's vision of 'atoms for peace.'"

UnluCaption.jpg

Radiation Science and Engineering Center Receives $1 million DOE grant

Shaina Blunt, senior reactor operator and undergraduate student intern, at the Breazeale Nuclear Reactor control console.

65th Anniversary

 

Map link

Make a Gift Link

 
 

About

The Radiation Science & Engineering Center (RSEC) was established to manage Penn State's comprehensive nuclear research facilities, including the Breazeale Nuclear Reactor, Gamma Irradiation Facility, Radioactive sources and Radiation measurement resources. The RSEC provides safe nuclear analytical and testing facilities in support of the research and education activities of faculty, staff, and students at Penn State.

Radiation Science & Engineering Center

101 Breazeale Nuclear Reactor

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4710

Phone: 814-865-6351