Since it began operation in 1957, the NRU reactor has made substantial contributions to the science, technology, energy, health and economy of Canada.
Medical isotopes produced in NRU are used in the treatment and diagnosis of more than 20,000,000 patients around the world each year: a huge contribution to world health, and a significant Canadian export business.
Following from the Nobel Prize winning work of Canadian Bert Brockhouse at Chalk River Laboratories in the 1950s, neutron scattering continues to be a field of excellence in Canadian science. NRU enables scientists to explore materials as diverse as steel, biological tissue or superconductors.
Knowledge gained from test facilities in NRU has been an essential foundation for developing the current fleet of CANDU power stations in Canada and abroad. Those stations are an important source of electricity for Canada, and generate no greenhouse gases.
This catalogue of achievements makes the NRU reactor the most ambitious and productive science facility in Canada.
On this web site you can learn about NRU today, and read details about the varied areas of science, technology and health to which it contributes. You can learn more about the history of NRU, and the efforts of the great men and women behind the project that built the most powerful research facility of its kind anywhere in the world in 1957. There are educational pages too, where you can learn the basics behind the operation of a research reactor, from atoms to isotopes, to fission to the systems that make it work.