Photos | Take a look inside ANSTO's HIFAR reactor

The Leader's photographer Chris Lane had a rare chance to step inside a nuclear reactor last week.

ANSTO at Lucas Heights is currently offering visitors a chance to step inside its decommissioned HIFAR reactor, but you will need to be quick, with just two tours remaining.

Visitors can walk through the HIFAR nuclear reactor, which was commissioned in 1958 and used for research and radioisotope production for almost 50 years before it was decommissioned in 2007.

Visitors will also see and learn about the OPAL research reactor that replaced HIFAR in 2007.

ANSTO's new chief executive Shaun Jenkinson said the tours were a great opportunity to step inside Australia's nuclear past.

"Visitors will be able to walk through Australia's first nuclear reactor, which was opened by Prime Minister Menzies in 1958," he said

"For more than 50 years, HIFAR was used for world-first neutron research, and radioisotope and nuclear medicine production."

HIFAR produced neutrons for the production of nuclear medicine and for scientific use. Neutrons are subatomic particles found in the nucleus of all atoms. HIFAR produced these neutrons through the process of fission - the splitting of a large atom uranium.

Visitors must be at least 14 years old, and fit enough to climb steep metal steps to the upper level of the reactor.

The remaining tours will run on the following dates and times:

  • Thursday, April 22, 10am-12.30pm
  • Thursday, April 29, 10am-12.30pm

Details: For more information or to make a booking click here.