Ford Nuclear Reactor

Ford Nuclear Reactor

Ford Nuclear Reactor

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The Ford Nuclear Reactor was a facility at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor dedicated to investigating the peaceful uses of nuclear power. It was a part of the Michigan Memorial Phoenix Project, a living memorial created to honor the casualties of World War II. The reactor operated from September 1957 until July 3, 2003. During its operation, the FNR was used to study medicine, cellular biology, chemistry, physics, mineralogy, archeology, anthropology, and nuclear science.

The reactor was a swimming-pool type reactor, originally operating at 1 MW using 93% enriched U-235 Aluminum-based fuel. It was later upgraded to 2 MW, using 19.5% enriched fuel. The Department of Energy fabricated, transported, and disposed of the fuel at no cost to the University. The reactor had a peak thermal flux of 3 x 10<sup>13</sup> n/cm²s. It had 10 beam ports. It was constructed by Babcock & Wilcox under a subcontract with Leeds & Northrup.

The decommissioned FNR building, Phoenix Memorial Laboratory, still stands on North Campus at the University of Michigan. The building is set to be renovated into a home for the Michigan Memorial Phoenix Energy Institute, a university-wide program tasked with charting the path towards sustainable energy.

The Michigan Memorial Phoenix Project

The Michigan Memorial Phoenix Project (MMPP) was a living World War II memorial pursuing peaceful uses of nuclear energy. It was originally funded by over...
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