Nuclear Reactor Research at University of Missouri

I was just in Columbia, Missouri, and the folks I was with took me on campus and we drove by the University of Missouri Nuclear Reactor, a 10 mW facility.

Endowing The Future

The internationally recognized University of Missouri Research Reactor (MURR), a
10-megawatt facility, is the most powerful among the dozens of research reactors located on our nation’s university campuses.

Even worldwide, few facilities can compare.

Those at MURR treat it like the unique national resource that it is, employing the facility as a research source – providing products and services that will save or extend people’s lives.

The superior level of the science at MURR helps put the products and services it offers a step ahead, further fueling the depth of its research.

What kind of reactor is it?  Here is description and a comparison to a local nuclear plant.


Power Level: 10MWth
Power Density, Core: 303 kW/liter, with peaking factor greater than 3
Primary Coolant Operating Temperature, Outlet (Th): 136° F
Primary Coolant Operating Pressure: 80 psia
Core, Fuel Type: Open pool PWR, HEU aluminide fuel
LEU Conversion Feasibility Study: Currently underway
Reflector: Beryllium and graphite
Flux Trap, Peak: 6 x 1014 n/(cm2sec)
License Status: 20-year renewal request submitted August 2006 (to extend to October 2026)


The University of Missouri Research Reactor Center has an impeccable 40+ year record of safe operation. This safety record is a combination of stringent NRC-directed safety regulations, high-quality technical and operations staff, and a philosophy of proactive, preventive maintenance. MURR operates 6.5 days per week; 52 weeks per year.

MURR’s reliability record is the envy of the industry.

Missourians are no strangers to nuclear energy, relying heavily on Ameren UE’s nearby Callaway plant to cool or heat their businesses and homes and feed their equipment and appliances. But MURR, as a multifunctional research reactor, differs significantly from such a power reactor. As the table below shows, MURR is considerably smaller. While a power reactor such as Callaway needs a source of electricity to cool the reactor core, MURR’s pool is capable of absorbing all the heat from the reactor core without the aid of forced convection.


But the facility is not just for power.

Products & Services

With its reliable and growing Products and Services division, the people at MURR are making possible custom-made quality nuclear services to a global community – offering a full line of off-shelf products, analyses, research and commercial isotopes and radiochemicals, and analytical and neutron irradiation services to its customers.

  • Radioisotopes/Radiochemicals
    MURR’s quality systems, bulk and research grade radioisotopes and radiochemicals and 16 MeV cyclotron makes it possible to deliver tailored products to fit customer needs.
  • Irradiation Services
    Our reactor design and full-power weekly operating cycle make possible an extensive array of irradiation services.
  • Contract Manufacturing
    MURR’s swift and accurate development and production capabilities help meet on-time needs for its customers and colleagues.
  • Analytical Services
    The folks at MURR can’t solve all the mysteries of life, but with Neutron Activation Analysis and an array of other techniques, they can come close.
  • Business Incubator Facilities & Economic Development
    From concept to commerce MURR, with help from the University of Missouri, is the place to be if you’re a small business in need of incubator facilities.

Maybe next time I am in Columbia, I can get a tour of the facility.

And, there are other parts of the University who take a green engineering approach as well.

Engineering goes green

The college’s favorite color connects to more than just St. Patrick

  • Story by Chris Blose
  • Illustration by Josh Nichols
  • Published: March 13, 2008


Around mid-March, a strange thing happens at the College of Engineering: People start wearing a lot of green. The occasional figure shows up dressed as St. Patrick, complete with flowing beard and green robes. The dome of Jesse Hall glows green at night. All of these things come in celebration of Engineers' Week, or E-week.

That’s just one week, though. All year long, students and scholars in engineering take the “green” connection to another level through environmentally friendly research and actions — from electric cars and alternative energy to recycled materials and energy audits.

In honor of E-Week at Mizzou, Mizzou Wire presents a few of the many examples of the university’s green engineering. Let us know if you have more examples.