SLOWPOKE-2 is a nuclear research reactor housed at SRC Environmental Analytical Laboratories. It is used as an analytical tool for doing neutron activation analysis (NAA) to determine uranium and other elemental concentrations in a wide variety of sample types for various industries.

The SLOWPOKE-2 reactor has been operating safely and without incident at SRC since its commissioning in 1981. If an incident occurs that requires public disclosure (please see our Public Disclosure Protocol), it will be posted on this webpage. The reactor is low-power and is used as an analytical tool primarily for commercial analysis. 

SRC has initiated the process for decommissioning the SLOWPOKE-2 nuclear reactor after 37 years of service. The process is highly regulated and will be conducted under the stringent requirements of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC).

Questions about our research reactor? Take a look at our FAQ


  • March 1981: The SLOWPOKE-2 reactor was commissioned.
  • March 25, 1981: The first commercial sample was processed.
  • March 29, 2016: SRC celebrates 35 years of safe operation and no incidents, 232,000 tests performed and over 19,000 hours of operation.
  • August 2016: Two of SRC's senior level research reactor operators had their operator certification renewed by the CNSC for the next five years.
  • May 2017: Two SRC employees were certified by the CNSC as SLOWPOKE Reactor Operators (effective May 16, 2017).
  • Dave Chorney, SRC’s current longest-serving operator of our SLOWPOKE-2 nuclear research reactor, has held an operating license for 30 years. 
  • January 17, 2018: The SLOWPOKE-2 reactor surpassed 20,000 hours of operation for its lifetime.

SRC conducts its operations with the highest regard for the safety and health of its employees and the public, and for the protection and preservation of property and the environment.

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission granted SRC a license to operate the SLOWPOKE-2 research reactor more than 30 years ago.