- MSTR Staff
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- Missouri S&T Nuclear Engineering Department
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The Missouri University of Science and Technology Nuclear Reactor has been in operation since 1961 and was the first nuclear reactor in the State of Missouri. The reactor is a "swimming pool" reactor, so called because it sits near the bottom of a large concrete pool of water. Currently licensed to operate at 200 kilowatts thermal power, the reactor serves as an excellent facility for research and training.The reactor pool contains 32,000 gallons of high-purity water and is 9 feet wide, 19 feet long and 27-30 feet deep. The Missouri S&TR core sits under 19 feet of water on a gridplate suspended from a movable bridge above the pool. The core consists of approximately 19 fuel elements and 4 control rods.
Fuel Elements each contain between 9 and 18 fuel plates and have dimensions of 3 in x 3 in x 3 ft. Each fuel plate contains 12.5 grams of low-enriched Uranium-235. Fuel plates run the length of the fuel elements and are .06 inch thick.
Control of nuclear reactions in the core is achieved using 4 Control Rods. Three of the control rods are safety rods, made of stainless steel containing natural boron which is a strong neutron absorber. These rods are used for a coarse reactor control and safety shutdowns, or "scrams". The Reg Rod is made of just stainless steel and provides fine power control.