Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

The IAEA’s Internet Reactor Laboratory Project

The reactor control room at the PULSTAR Reactor, North Carolina State University.
​The IAEA’s Internet Reactor Laboratory Project 

The International Atomic Energy Agency is working with Member States around the world to develop a variety of nuclear education and training opportunities. One of these projects is the Internet Reactor Laboratory (IRL), a cost-effective way to add an experimental component based on the use of a research reactor to nuclear courses at the university level where otherwise such an opportunity might not exist. Broadly, the IRL is intended to increase the global supply of nuclear education promoting the utilization of research reactors around the world, and can be used in countries that are interested in educating human capital for future nuclear reactor projects, and for countries that may want to pursue non-power applications of nuclear technology such as nuclear medicine or nuclear scientific research.

​The project creates a virtual reactor in a remote location by linking a host reactor with university classrooms in neighbouring countries via the internet. Using data acquisition hardware and software installed in the host research reactor, real-time signals are sent over the internet to the participating classroom, where students are able to see a real-time display of the reactor's control panel. Using a video conference link, students in the classroom can interact with operators in the reactor control room, and can "conduct experiments" by asking the reactor operators to change reactor settings, thus seeing the real-time output of the reactor change accordingly.Examples of experiments that will be performed within the IRL project include: introduction to nuclear instrumentation in a research reactor; approach to criticality; control rod calibration; temperature reactivity coefficient and void coefficient measurement.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Students in a university classroom at the Jordan University of Science                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       and Technology, seeing real-time output of the Pulsar reactor.

The IAEA is currently working with universities in Member States around the world to develop and deploy the IRL. If you are interested in taking part in the IRL project either as a host reactor or as a guest university, or  interested in providing a contribution, please contact the IAEA's Research Reactor Section by emailing