The SLOWPOKE-2 research nuclear reactor at the RMC became critical in the fall of 1985. The Facility housing the reactor is located in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at the RMC. The Facility is owned by the Crown and falls under the responsibilities of the Minister of National Defence. The reactor and associated laboratory equipment are used for the education of undergraduate and postgraduate students, for research and analytical applications, and for training and support of Canadian Armed Forces personnel. Specific capabilities include neutron activation analysis, neutron radioscopy and tomography, gamma spectroscopy, delayed neutron counting and liquid scintillation counting.
After 36 years of operation, the SLOWPOKE-2 reactor at RMC was successfully refuelled. An RMC team of nuclear subject matter experts as well as a professional, highly trained team from Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) consisting of reactor engineers, technicians, physicists, radiation protection experts and fuel manufacture specialists worked on this project for more than three years. As part of the project, a new reactor fuel core was manufactured at CNL. The spent core, originally installed in 1985, was extracted from the reactor and transported to the Chalk River's waste management facility. In September 2021 the new LEU core was successfully commissioned.
Refuelling the reactor means that the education, training, research, and technical support provided by the Facility to DND, the CAF, and Canada will continue for the years to come