University of Massachusetts Lowell Radiation Laboratory

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Reactor - University of Massachusetts Lowell - DSC00110.JPG
University of Massachusetts Lowell Radiation Laboratory is located in Massachusetts
University of Massachusetts Lowell Radiation Laboratory
Location of UMLRR
Operating InstitutionUniversity of Massachusetts Lowell
LocationLowell, Massachusetts
Coordinates42°39′17″N 71°19′30″W / 42.65472°N 71.32500°W / 42.65472; -71.32500Coordinates: 42°39′17″N 71°19′30″W / 42.65472°N 71.32500°W / 42.65472; -71.32500
Power860420650 cal(th)/h
Construction and Upkeep
Construction Cost$1.2 million USD
Construction Began1974
First Criticality1975 January 2
Annual Upkeep Cost$0.3 million USD
Technical Specifications
Max Thermal Flux1.4e13 n/cm^2-s
Max Fast Flux9.2e12 n/cm^2-s
Fuel Typeplate type
18 per assembly
Coolinglight water
Neutron Moderatorlight water
Neutron Reflectorgraphite, light water
Control RodsBoron-Aluminium-Carbide (Boral)
4 per element
Cladding Materialaluminium alloy

The Radiation Laboratory at the US University of Massachusetts Lowell serves the Department of Applied Physics among others. The laboratory contains a 1 MW pool-type nuclear research reactor (UMLRR)[1] that has been operating since 1974, a 300 kCi Co-60 gamma ray source, and a 5.5 MV Van de Graaff accelerator.


First startup was January 2, 1975.[2] A budget for the reactor is not provided from the university or from the state; funding comes from grants and the United States Department of Energy.[3][4]

Conversion to LEU[edit]

The UMass Lowell reactor has been one of the many research reactors to make the conversion from high-enriched Uranium to low-enriched Uranium as a part of anti-terrorism security measures.[5] The used HEU fuel was reportedly shipped to the Savannah River Site. The original shipping date was June 2002 but had been postponed many times. As of present-day the shipments have been made and the reactor is in operation with LEU.

Neutron Irradiation Capabilities[edit]

Neutron irradiation facilities at the UMLRR include: 1x 8-inch beam port, 2x 6-inch beam ports, in-core radiation baskets & flux trap, thermal column, and fast neutron irradiator (FNI).[6]


  1. ^ "University of Massachusetts, Lowell - Safety Analysis Report, (Chapters 1-7) Redacted For Public Release" (PDF). US Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
  2. ^ "Nuclear Research Reactors in the World". Archived from the original on 2008-05-16. Retrieved 2008-05-16.
  3. ^ Velella, Rob. "Nuclear Fallout" from The UMass Lowell Connector (student newspaper). November 20, 2001. p. 1
  4. ^ Binney, S.E.; S.R. Reese; D.S. Pratt (February 22, 2000). "University Research Reactors: Contributing to the National Scientific and Engineering Infrastructure from 1953 to 2000 and Beyond". National Organization of Test, Research and Training Reactors. Archived from the original on July 1, 2007. Retrieved April 7, 2007.
  5. ^[bare URL PDF]
  6. ^ "University of Massachusetts, Lowell - Safety Analysis Report (Chapters 8 - 15) Redacted For Public Release" (PDF). US Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

External links[edit]