UMD Radiation Facilities' Operating License Renewed

news story image

Image: View of the reactor core at high power.

It was no easy feat, but Dr. Tim Koeth, Director of the UMD Radiation Facilites, and his team can finally rest easy. After 17 years of paperwork, questions, inspections and hoop-jumping, the Maryland University Training Reactor (MUTR) has been granted a renewed license by the Nuclear Regulatory Commision (NRC), which will remain active for the next 20 years. Housed within the Chemical and Nuclear Engineering building, the reactor offers opportunities for research, hands-on training, and service to various government and commercial collaborators. 

This research training reactor, built in 1974, is fairly hard to come by – there are currently only 31 in the U.S. – and it's unlikely that more will be built, which is why UMD is committed to preserving, and maintaining, the Facilities. In addition to various nuclear education courses, the Facilities offer UMD and UMUC students alike the opportunity to participate in the reactor training program. Those who are accepted - and they come from various backgrounds and majors - will complete a one-year training in the use of the TRIGA reactor. After completion, participants can elect to take a rigorous, NRC exam, and once they pass, become licensed nuclear reactor operators. One needn't be a physics whiz to do so - all that is truly required is enthusiasm, curiosity and determination. 

Tours of the Facilities are available to UMD affiliates and the general public. For more information, please visit

Related articles:

"University of Maryland's nuclear reactor got its license renewed for 20 years," The Diamondback, 01/26/2017.

"Congressional Representatives Visit UMD Radiation Facilities," MSE website, 12/19/2016.

"This professor carries a Geiger counter and helps undergrads build particle accelerators," The Washington Post, 09/08/2016.

Published February 9, 2017