Canadian Neutron Beam Facilities

The Canadian Neutron Beam Centre (CNBC)

The CNBC ceased to provide neutrons on March 31, 2018, when the NRU reactor permanently closed. The CNBC is now in a wind down mode, and plans to provide assistance until March 2019 to complete data analysis and publish results.

When it was operating, the CNBC was Canada’s primary neutron beam lab and a unique and versatile element of Canada’s research infrastructure. The CNBC enabled academia, government and industry to use neutron beams as tools for world-class materials research, providing new understanding of materials and improving products for businesses. Each year, over 200 scientists, engineers, and students participated in research that depends on access to the CNBC. International collaborations involving the CNBC included over a 100 institutions in more than 20 countries during a typical five-year period.

More information about the CNBC is available here.

The McMaster Nuclear Reactor (MNR)

MNR resides on the campus of McMaster University

MNR resides on the campus of McMaster University. MNR has three neutron beamlines with a fourth under construction. Two beamlines are operated by N-Ray Services Inc. for neutron imaging for commercial customers. The McMaster Alignment Diffractometer (MAD) can be used to introduce students to neutron diffraction, and to perform crystal alignment and  evaluation prior to taking them to higher-flux neutron sources for a full-scale experiment. The McMaster small-angle neutron scattering (MacSANS) beamline is expected to be completed in 2019.  McMaster University and the Canadian neutron beam community are exploring how to upgrade and fully exploit the MNR following the planned closure of the NRU reactor in 2018.

Canadian Participation at the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS)

Canada contributed $15M to support the construction of a beamline at the SNS, the USA’s new flagship neutron source. The contribution was funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s International Access Fund in 2003. In exchange, Canadian researchers are welcome to use up to 10% of the time of three SNS beamlines for a ten-year period ending in 2018. This beam time is distributed as follows: 10% of SEQUOIA, 10% of VULCAN, and 10% distributed among the remaining beamlines.


How do researchers use a neutron beam to learn about materials?