The WSU Nuclear Radiation Center, a WSU department within the Office of Research
and located in the Dodgen Research Facility, is home to a variety of unique opportunities
available to researchers, commercial clients, and government agencies. Completed
in 1961, the Dodgen Research Facility, under operation of the department, runs and
maintains the WSU Reactor, a 1 MW TRIGA® (Teaching Research Isotope production General
Atomics) nuclear research reactor, gamma irradiation facilities, a mass spectrometer,
an X-ray diffractometer, and an assortment of radiochemistry and neutron activation
The WSU Nuclear Radiation Center participates in quality, nationally and internationally
pertinent research, isotope production, and various community education initiatives
benefiting WSU, other university institutions and national and worldwide clients.
The facility is utilized by a variety of fields of study including: nuclear engineering,
physics, chemistry, biology, medicine, geology, environmental sciences, archaeology,
geology, and traditional and nuclear forensics. We hosted the 2011 Nuclear Forensics
Summer School and annually provide laboratory space and equipment for the WSU Chemistry
Department Radiochemistry Lab Sections, in addition to utilization of the reactor
In addition to the WSU Nuclear Radiation Center providing researchers an economical
teaching and research tool, we train WSU students to become U.S. Nuclear Regulatory
Commission licensed Reactor Operators and Senior Reactor Operators for our reactor.
This requires the potential operator to become an expert in reactor theory, neutron
instrumentation, neutron transport theory, electrical and pumping systems, environmental
compliance, and Local/State/Federal regulations. Our Reactor Operators and Senior
Reactor Operators are tour guides, operations engineers, radioactive material handlers,
experiment advisors, safety compliance officers, research associates, emergency
coordinators, and radiation control advisors all rolled into one.
Community outreach and education is considered one of the most powerful and influential
missions of our department. That’s why we offer tours of the facility and reactor
to the community, students, teachers, and professors, free of charge. We believe
that education about what we do and what this facility contributes to the national
and international community is paramount, and we encourage the tour participants
to ask many questions. More information on how to schedule a tour can be found on
the tours tab.