Medical Research Reactor
To meet scientists' needs for neutrons for medical research, the Brookhaven Medical Research Reactor (BMRR) was built. This reactor, which was the first in the nation to be constructed specifically for medical research, reached criticality on March 15, 1959, and continued operations until December, 2000.
One of the reactor's four faces was equipped for the irradiation of large objects, while the holes that penetrated another face permitted irradiation of samples, activation analysis and production of short-lived radioisotopes. From the remaining two ports, streams of neutrons traveled to treatment rooms, for carefully controlled animal and clinical studies.
One of the treatments pioneered at this reactor was boron neutron capture therapy, or BNCT. This promising treatment was developed for use against glioblastoma multiforme, an otherwise untreatable and deadly form of brain cancer.