Facilities Services

Research Reactor Facility

The Reed College Reactor Facility has been used for research and educational projects in the Portland area since its establishment in 1968. These programs have been an important part of the educational picture of the region.


The Reed College Reactor is a TRIGA Mark I reactor at the bottom of a 25-foot-deep tank. It uses zirconium hydride/uranium hydride fuel elements in a circular grid array. The uranium fuel is enriched to 20 percent uranium-235. The reactor is surrounded by a graphite ring which minimizes neutron leakage by reflecting neutrons back into the core.

The reactor can operate at any power up to the license ceiling of 250 kW. This makes it possible to provide a defined neutron flux as required for some experiments. The power level is usually maintained for periods ranging from a few minutes up to eight hours. Continued or repeated operation over several days is possible for longer irradiations.

Learn more about the research reactor