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PUR-1, Purdue’s Nuclear Reactor

PUR-1 stands for Purdue University Reactor Number One. It is the first and only nuclear reactor operating in Indiana. Its primary purpose is to teach Purdue Nuclear Engineering students about the fundamentals of reactor physics and operation. The university also uses the reactor as a neutron source for activation to support the engineering, health science, chemistry, pharmacy, agriculture, biology, and nanotechnology departments.

The reactor’s design power level is up to 10 kW and the facility currently runs at 1 kW. The core is about 2 cubic feet and rests at the bottom of a 17 foot deep pool. The maximum thermal flux is 2.1×1010 n/cm2·s. There are three full time employees that perform day-to-day operations.

The facility welcomes the public to arrange a tour. Approximately 1500 people visit the facility annually including university students, high school students and the general public.

Purdue is a member of the National Organization of Teaching Research and Test Reactors (TRTR) community.  Learn more about other TRTRs.