Chemistry and Physics Excursion to ANSTO Nuclear Reactor



On the 6th of September both Year 12 Chemistry and Year 12 Physics students visited ANSTO. This excursion was divided in two parts. The first involved a visit to the nuclear reactor and the second a lecture on nuclear technology and its uses.

The tour of the nuclear reactor provided the students an insight to the processes involved in a research nuclear reactor. They learned that this reactor plays a vital role in society by functioning as a “Neutron Factory” producing radioisotopes for cancer detection, treatment and neutron beams for fundamental materials research. The students had a rare opportunity to see the nuclear reactor in action and were able to see how the radioactive isotopes used for various applications such as nuclear medicine, engineering and agriculture are produced in the nuclear reactor before being dispatched to other states and countries.

At the Discovery Centre in ANSTO, students were given a lecture related to the production and applications of radioisotopes. The students were surprised to learn that there was a good chance that the mobile phones that they were holding contained silicon that derived from the silicon ingot that had been irradiated by the nuclear reactor at ANSTO.

Throughout the whole excursion students were given opportunities to clarify any questions related to their curriculum and the various professions involved in ANSTO and related fields.

Mr Raj Jayaratna
Physics Teacher