Ontario's Historical Plaques 

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The ZEEP Reactor

ZEEP Reactor

Photos contributed by the Canada Science and Technology Museum - Posted August, 2011

ZEEP Reactor

Plaque Location

The City of Ottawa
Located in the Canada Science and Technology Museum
on Lancaster Road just east of St Laurent Blvd
2.25 km south of The Queensway (Highway 417)
Note: The plaque is currently housed in their
Transportation Reserve Collection
which is not generally open to the public.

Coordinates: N 45 24.204 W 75 37.137


Plaque Text

A nuclear chain reaction was first initiated in Canada on September 5, 1945, when the ZEEP reactor went into operation here at Chalk River. Originally part of an effort to produce plutonium for nuclear weapons, the reactor was designed by a team of Canadian, British and French scientists and engineers assembled in Montreal and in Ottawa in 1942-43 under the administration of the National Research Council. Named Zero Energy Experimental Pile because it was developed to produce only one watt of heat, the ZEEP reactor was used to provide data for the design of the powerful NRX (National Research Experimental) reactor. In 1952 the project was transferred from the NRC to Atomic Energy of Canada Limited.

Related Ontario plaques
Nuclear Power Demonstration Reactor
Douglas Point Nuclear Power Plant



Ottawa Plaques

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