Penn State Breazeale Nuclear Reactor Control Console

Penn State Breazeale Reactor

The PSBR, which first went critical in 1955, is the nation's longest continuously operating university research reactor. The PSBR is a 1 MW TRIGA reactor with pulsing capabilities and a moveable core in a large pool. The core is located in a 24 foot deep pool with ~71,000 gallons of demineralized water. A variety of dry tubes and fixtures are available in or near the reactor core for irradiations. A pneumatic transfer system is also available for sample irradiation. When the reactor core is placed next to a D2O tank and a graphite reflector assembly near the beam port locations, thermal neutron beams become available for neutron transmission and neutron radiography measurements from two of the seven existing beam ports. In steady state operation at 1 MW, the thermal neutron flux is 1x1013 n/cm2sec at the edge of the core and 3x1013n/cm2sec at the central thimble. The PSBR can be pulsed, with a peak neutron flux of ~ 6x1016 n/cm2sec with a pulse half width of ~10 msec.
Breazeale Nuclear Reactor Core


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