[Neutron] OPAL Reactor reached design power of 20MW for the first time toda y

ROBINSON, Robert rro at ansto.gov.au
Fri Nov 3 16:05:32 CST 2006

See ANSTO's press release on:

OPAL reactor glows at full power

At 11:45 this morning, ANSTO's OPAL research reactor reached its full
operating power of 20

Mega Watts for the first time as part of the reactor's commissioning
process, which is yet to be


"This is a milestone because it means that we are a step closer to the full
commissioning of the

reactor," said Dr Ian Smith, ANSTO Executive Director. "This is a very
exciting time and we are

confident that the success to date in the commissioning process will assure
we reach full

operation on the planned schedule and realise the science capabilities and

production capacity which OPAL will provide for Australia.

In commissioning, reactor components and systems are made operational and
verified to be in

accordance with design and performance criteria. Reaching 20 MW today is a

milestone for the ANSTO,INVAP (the prime contractor)and the project team.

"The water in OPAL's pool vessel is now emitting the distinctive blue glow
of Cerenkov

radiation, characteristic of nuclear fission," said Dr Smith.

OPAL will be a major contributor to Australia's nuclear medicine needs for
the next 40 years,

and is designed and constructed to ensure effective protection against
radiological hazards for

workers, the community and the environment.

When OPAL is fully operational and delivering radioisotopes and neutron
beams to the

necessary requirements, the current reactor, HIFAR, will be shut down.


For more information and to arrange interviews please contact:

ANSTO Media Adviser, Sharon Kelly (02) 9717 9575 or 0400 394 085

*ANSTO is the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, the
country's national nuclear research and development

organisation and the centre of Australian nuclear expertise - over 70 per
cent of all radioisotopes used in Australian nuclear

medicine are made in ANSTO's reactor.


Robert A. Robinson
Head, The Bragg Institute, B87
Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation
PMB 1, Menai NSW 2234

Tel:    +61 (2) 9717 9204
FAX:    +61 (2) 9717 3606
Mobile: 0417 017 503
E-mail: robert.robinson at ansto.gov.au


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