Constructing a Nuclear Reactor
In the mid-1950s, Dr. Harry Thode successfully lobbied the National Research Council of Canada and local industry for funding to build a research reactor at McMaster University. The funds were secured by June of 1956, and in November of that year the contract to build the reactor was awarded to AMF Atomics Ltd (Canada). The design selected was that of a pool type reactor for operational flexibility, with a full containment structure around it for maximum safety.
Reactor Construction at a Glance
|Reactor Design and Construction||AMF Atomics (Canada) Limited|
|Building Design||William R. Souter & Associates|
|Mechanical and Electrical Design||O. G. Moffat Limited|
|Structural Design||Wagner, McCargar and Filer|
|Building Construction||Pigott Construction Company Limited|
|Mechanical and Electrical Contractors||Canadian Comstock Company Limited|
|Regulator||Canadian Nuclear Safey Commission|
The construction of an “MTR Class Reactor” (MTR = Materials Test Reactor) in 1950’s West Hamilton was a unique occurrence, and the progress of the project was documented in a series of photographs. The slide show below begins with the ground breaking in September 1957, through the completion of the containment structure in September 1958, up to the official opening ceremony for the McMaster Nuclear Reactor that was held on April 10, 1959, less than a week after MNR first achieved criticality.