Celebrating 60 years of Nuclear Research at Penn State
The Penn State Breazeale Nuclear Reactor is the longest operating licensed research reactor in the United States.
Penn State was one of the first universities to take advantage of the "Atoms for Peace" program. Then-University President Milton Eisenhower, the brother of U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower, supported the construction of a reactor for research and education. On July 8, 1955, the Penn State Breazeale Reactor received the first research reactor license issued by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission.
In 1956, Penn State was one of only two universities established as an International School of Nuclear Science and Engineering. As part of this program, a total of 175 scientists and engineers from 39 countries were educated at Penn State from 1956-1959. The facility also conducted training programs for reactor operators in the U.S. until the early 1980s training over 900 operators.
The Breazeale Reactor produces no electricity and is used solely for research, education, and service. Over 3,000 people visit the reactor each year for tours, including elementary, middle, high school, and college students as well as visiting faculty, government officials, and other special interest groups.
In the last five years, the Breazeale Reactor has had significant infrastructure improvements. Currently, work is taking place to change the reactor core-moderator assembly and build new beam ports. There are also plans for a future building expansion.
August 18, 2015
Open house and tours
Radiation Science & Engineering Center
(Breazeale Nuclear Reactor)
Penn State, University Park Campus
9:00 am - 1:30 pm
Open to the public
100 Thomas Building
Program will highlight the history of the reactor; current teaching, research, and outreach activities; and future plans.
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Open to the public
Handicap parking will be available at the Radiation Science & Engineering Center. All other visitors must park in a visitor parking lot. The closest lots are the East Parking Deck, the Eisenhower Parking Deck, or the lots near Beaver Stadium. A one-day permit may be purchased from any Kiosk Booth.
For more information on parking, visit the transportation services website or call Wendy Belinc at 814-865-6351.