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History of Research Reactors at Brookhaven

Brookhaven National Laboratory has three nuclear reactors on its site that were used for scientific research. The reactors are all shut down, and the Laboratory is addressing environmental issues associated with their operations.

photo of BGRRBrookhaven Graphite Research Reactor - Beginning operations in 1950, the graphite reactor was used for research in medicine, biology, chemistry, physics and nuclear engineering. One of the most significant achievements at this facility was the development of technetium-99m, a radiopharmaceutical widely used to image almost any organ in the body. The graphite reactor was shut down in 1969. Parts of it have been decommissioned, with the remainder to be addressed by 2011.  More history

photo of HFBRHigh Flux Beam Reactor – The High Flux Beam Reactor, which began operations in 1965 and was closed in 1999, was used by an international community of scientists for experiments in nuclear and solid state physics, materials science, biology and chemistry. The structure of the ribosome, the “protein factory” of the cell, was discovered at the high flux reactor. Scientists also made significant findings about chemical structures and the nature of super-conductivity. Input from the community is being considered in deciding on a plan for decommissioning this reactor.  Cleanup status

photo of BMRRBrookhaven Medical Research Reactor - The Brookhaven Medical Research Reactor, operating from 1959-2000, was built specifically for medical research. Boron neutron capture therapy was one of the treatments developed at this reactor for use against glioblastoma multiforme, an otherwise untreatable and deadly form of brain cancer. The medical reactor is awaiting decommissioning.  More history

  

Last Modified: May 16, 2008