Year 11 Chemistry Excursion – ANSTO 6 December 2016

science news 1On Tuesday 6 December, Year 11 Chemistry embarked on an adventure to ANSTO. The nuclear reactor visit assisted us in our knowledge of nuclear reactions, a section of our topic: ‘The Production of Materials.’ We were taken on a tour of the site and saw many complicated looking machines.

ANSTO is an incredible institution that supplies approximately two million doses of potentially lifesaving radioisotopes to local hospitals. It is also home to some of the most incredible machinery for this field.

We began the day listening to a physicist give us an outline of all the science work completed at ANSTO. Following this, we were taken on a tour around the institution.

The place looked like the set of a science fiction movie, complete with a glowing uranium core submerged in 30m of water and a viewing room overlooking the warehouse where scientists were operating complex research equipment, some of which can only be found in ANSTO.

Funny story, America supplied ANSTO with all the pieces to build a High-Resolution Powder Diffractometer (ECHIDNA) but without the instructions. ANSTO were able to build an even more efficient version of this machine and now American institutions pay to come to Australia and use it.

Despite the rain, this excursion was very interesting and educational and a lot of fun. We were even told secret information that I’m not allowed to repeat to anyone.

Even though the whole site is dedicated to neutrons; it was an undeniably positive experience.


Clover McCallum (Year 11 Chemistry Student)