Future of Neutron Scattering in Canada

Most of the news in the media on the Chalk River reactor shutdown has focused on the isotope issue, rightly so, since this has such a large impact on the health of Canadians and many more around the world. However, the shutdown has also had implications far beyond the isotope issue: all of the science and technology related research (important neutron scattering studies on new materials ranging from superconductors, to fuel cell materials, to new biomaterials for drug delivery) that was enabled by the reactor has had to stop because of the shutdown. The problem stems from the fact that all these, the research and the isotope production, rely on the 53-year-old NRU reactor. The shutdown emphasizes that a decision to replace NRU is long overdue and badly needed. No committment to replace the aging reactor translates to a big loss for Canada and its edge in science and technology in ways that go way beyond the isotope issue…

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