High Flux Australian Reactor, 1958-

From Engineering Heritage New South Wales


The High Flux Australian Reactor - the first nuclear reactor in Australia, achieved criticality on 26th January 1958.

It was constructed by and for the Australian Atomic Energy Commission to a modified design of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority by Head Wrightson Processes Ltd, (UK) as primary contractor and International Combustion (Aust), with civil construction by Hutcherson Bros for the architect Stephenson and Turner.

Professor Sir John Phillip Baxter was the AAEC Commissioner in Charge, Charles Watson-Munro was the Chief Scientist, the Engineer in Charge was Bill Roberts and instrumentation and control was by George Page.

HIFAR enabled Australia to participate internationally in the early development of peaceful uses of nuclear energy and in the application of nuclear science and technology to industry, health, education and research. It has been regularly upgraded to meet developing world and regulatory practice.

HIFAR reactor (Centre distance)

Plaque and interpretation panel

Coordinates 34°03′06″S 150°58′50″E

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Engineering Heritage Recognition Program

Marker Type National Engineering Landmark (NEL)
Centenary of Federation “Plaquing” Program (CFPP)
Award Date 7 December 2001
Prominent People Sir Phillip Baxter, Charles Watson-Munro
Nomination Document Available here
Ceremony Booklet Not Available
Interpretation Panel As photograph adjacent
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