The AGN-201M Nuclear Reactor Laboratory has a 5 W AGN-201M nuclear reactor which teaches fundamentals of nuclear reactor operations and interactions of neutrons with matter and lets students conduct experiments on basic reactor physics parameters. In addition, the laboratory has a subcritical assembly for studying the neutron flux profile in a nuclear system and a graphite pile for examining the neutron thermalization process. The laboratory facilities are used primarily to support education programs rather than research.
Texas A&M University purchased the AGN reactor in 1957 to be used for the newly forming Department of Nuclear Engineering. Originally located in Thompson Hall, the reactor was moved to its current home in the Zachry Engineering Center in 1972. More recently, the control console was upgraded to incorporate modern digital components. The reactor is currently used to facilitate undergraduate and graduate course requirements for the Department of Nuclear Engineering.
The AGN reactor has a thermal power rating of 5W. The reactor utilizes a homogenously mixed polyethylene and UO2 plate type fuel. The fuel is surrounded by graphite and is contained within a pressure tight vessel fabricated from aluminum. Natural convection maintains the core temperature relatively stable by removing heat that is generated being lost to the water surrounding the core. The reactor is controlled by four fueled control rods that are inserted into the core to maintain control of the nuclear reaction.
- 5 W AGN-201M nuclear reactor
- Subcritical assembly
- Graphite pile