HIFAR 60th Anniversary Celebration

Prime Minister Bob Menzies at Opening of HIFAR with Dr Charles Watson-Munro, Chief Scientist AAEC, on 18 April 1958


10:20 am for 11 am – 12:30 pm Monday 23 April 2018.
AINSE Theatre, Lucas Heights, NSW

This event is linked to the Australian Heritage Festival and the original date (Wed 18 April) coincided with The International Day for Monuments and Sites.

Jointly hosted by ANSTO, Australian Nuclear Association, Engineers Australia Sydney Division Nuclear Engineering Panel and the Engineering Heritage Group.

Supported by the Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering (AINSE) which also celebrates its 60th anniversary this year.

To register click here

This is a great opportunity to recognise and celebrate the achievements of the HIFAR research reactor and its contribution to nuclear science and technology in Australia.

The Celebration will be opened by Adi Paterson, ANSTO CEO, followed by a welcome by Julie Mikhail FIEAust, President Engineers Australia Sydney Division.


A short historic video of HIFAR will be shown.

Speakers for the Panel session are:

Tony Wood, – Appointed one of the first Reactor Shift Superintendents in 1960 and involved with HIFAR management to 2004
Margaret Elcombe – Neutron Beam Scientist from 1967 until HIFAR shutdown in 2007
Geoff Malone – Design and Project Engineer who joined AAEC 1971 and worked on HIFAR engineering projects
Richard Kulak – Reactor Shift Supervisor 1982-2006 and Decommissioning Officer for HIFAR

There will be opportunities for comment and questions from the audience including those who worked on HIFAR, used HIFAR facilities or were involved with HIFAR over its many years of successful operation.

HIFAR went critical on Australia Day 1958 and was officially opened on 18 April 1958 by the then Prime Minister, Robert Menzies. It was shutdown by the Hon. Julie Bishop MP, Minister for Education, Science and Training on 30 January 2007.

HIFAR was Australia’s first national research reactor. It was central to the research that occurred at ANSTO and it operated safely and reliably for almost 50 years. Neutrons from HIFAR were used to conduct cutting-edge neutron research, produce nuclear medicine and irradiate silicon for the international semiconductor market.

HIFAR was replaced by the 20 MW OPAL research reactor which was opened on 20 April 2007 by then Australian Prime Minister John Howard.