Spotlight on the McMaster Nuclear Reactor

In this video tour of the McMaster Nuclear Reactor (MNR), Fiona McNeill leads you through the reactor and discusses neutron imaging. The small-angle neutron beamline under construction is described at about 4:30.

In a second video below, staff and users of the MNR summarize the impacts of what they do: leading scientific research, helping airplanes fly safely, producing medical products that save lives, dispelling myths about nuclear technology and promoting safety.


More information about the reactor is available on the McMaster Nuclear Reactor official webpage.

Parliamentary Committee Asks the Government to implement the Canadian Neutron Initiative

The House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance (FINA) has recommended the Government of Canada to “implement the Canadian Neutron Initiative, upgrade and fully utilize the McMaster nuclear reactor, and facilitate international nuclear research partnerships,” in its December 8, 2017 report, Driving Inclusive Growth: Spurring Productivity And Competitiveness In Canada. The report is the culmination of the Committee’s consultations for the 2018 budget.

The recommendation to implement the CNI is part of a series to address the Committee’s recognition of “the importance of research, development and commercialization in contributing to the productivity and competitiveness of Canada’s businesses.” The recommendation follows the testimony of the Canadian Neutron Initiative Working Group, which “called for a commitment to fund a 10-year university-led framework, the Canadian Neutron Initiative, for research in materials and innovation enabled by neutron beams,” and of McMaster University, which “asked for the government to consider long-term solutions to neutron access in Canada.”

The testimonies concerning the CNI as presented to FINA are available from the CNI resource page.

Canadian scientists visit the European Spallation Source

Canadian scientists talk opportunities for cooperation with the European Spallation Source.

“We put together a delegation of scientists that represent a wide range of priority science research areas for Canada, including energy, health, advanced manufacturing, and quantum materials,” says Harroun. “We also shared with ESS our initiative to establish a new national program for materials research using neutron beams ahead of the imminent closure of the NRU [National Research Universal] reactor in Chalk River, Ontario.”

The meetings at ESS have brought some clarity to this initiative, according to John Root, Director of the Canadian Neutron Beam Centre and Executive Director of the Sylvia Fedoruk Centre for Nuclear Innovation:

“Before coming to Lund, we knew only about our urgent need to establish a new framework for stewardship of Canada’s program for materials research with neutron beams. In Lund, we met a community who opened several doors for us to refine our own vision for this stewardship. We can imagine participating in this visionary international endeavour, both now, in building it, and in the future, through access to the world-class facility. Participation in ESS could present Canadians with unique opportunities for impact at the leading edge of science and technology in coming decades, and would reap many benefits for society in health, clean energy, security and our environment.”

Full story by the ESS

CNI in the National Post

Why Canada must not be shut out of the neutron technology it invented

September 28, 2017

“While neutron scattering continues to grow in importance and Canada enjoys international recognition as its ancestral home, its future here in Canada is nonetheless very much in doubt.”

“McMaster University and the University of Saskatchewan have formed the Canadian Neutron Initiative because we believe there is both a strong reason to maintain Canada’s proud place in this important field and a practical alternative to make it happen.”

Full Story in the National Post

Originally published in The Conversation