WR-1

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Description:
The WR-1 reactor was a research reactor located at AECL's Whiteshell Laboratories, located near Pinawa, Manitoba.

The 60 MWt WR-1 was designed and built by Canadian General Electric, and first achieved criticality in 1965. The reactor was built at a cost of $14.5 Million CDN . The original purpose of the unit was as a test reactor for a proposed organic-cooled CANDU power reactor. When that program ceased in 1972, WR-1 was used for irradiation, experimentation and heating the WNRE site. WR-1 was shut down for the last time in 1985, was defuelled, and is now undergoing decommissioning.

Design

The reactor had vertical fuel channels, was cooled by an organic liquid (an oil) rather than water. The neutrons were moderated by cool heavy water in a large calandria vessel surrounding the fuel channels. The reactor did not use conventional control rods, but relied on control of the level of the heavy water moderator to adjust the power output. The reactor could be shut down quickly (SCRAM) by rapid dumping of the moderator. The organic liquid, called OS-84, that was selected as a coolant in WR-1 is a mixture of terphenyls treated catalytically with hydrogen to produce 40 percent saturated hydrocarbons. The terphenyls are petrochemical derivatives that were readily available and were already in use as heat transfer media. Using an organic coolant meant the reactor was run at low operating pressures, and had...
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