UNM nuclear reactor 50th anniversary symposium documentation

April 29, 2019

reactor photo

On April 3, 1969, the nuclear reactor at The University of New Mexico went “critical” for the first time in its current location, the Nuclear Engineering Laboratory, meaning it was brought to a steady power level.

UNM celebrated the 50th anniversary of this event with a symposium on April 23.

The event featured memories from former professors and students in the program, a discussion about the history of UNM’s reactor, and a presentation about the world’s first nuclear reactor, the Chicago Pile-1, and a literal piece of history from that machine on display.

Robert Busch, professor emeritus in the Department of Nuclear Engineering, has been with UNM for as nearly as long as the reactor has been in the Nuclear Engineering Laboratory at the university, arriving as a doctoral student in 1971, so he has extensive experience and memories with the AGN-201M reactor, one of only two models like it in the U.S.

Watch Busch at the reactor during the 50th celebration below, and view historical photos here (pdf).