NRX, Canada’s first reactor

June 7, 2017

NRX reactor building and cooling tanks

NRX reactor building and cooling tanks, 1945. National Research Council of Canada


During the Second World War, Canada, in collaboration with the United States and Britain, was responsible for the production of the atomic bomb. During this time, a nuclear laboratory was established at Chalk River, Ontario, and, in July 1947, Canada’s first experimental reactor — the NRX, or National Research Experimental — was built for a wide range of nuclear-energy research purposes, as well as potential civilian and military applications.

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