Reed Research Reactor

By Deane Barker on June 22, 2007

Reed Research Reactor: Take comfort, Portland. In between chasing the opposite sex, getting drunk, and sleeping too late, your undergrads are running a nuclear reactor.

The Reed Research Reactor (RRR) is a research nuclear reactor located on-campus at Reed College in Portland, OR. […] RRR is the only research reactor in the world that is owned and operated by an undergraduate educational institution. It is operated and maintained primarily by undergraduate college students […]

Wait, it gets better:

Since the 1960s, Reed has had a reputation for tolerating open drug use among its students, and the 1998 Princeton Review listed Reed as the number-three school in the “reefer madness” category.

Ever seen a bong glow?

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  1. while i assume your entry was a jestful poke at the thought of undergrads operating a research reactor, your portrayal of reed college is a little misguided.

    while we may have been #3 for reefer madness 9 years ago, we’ve since dropped from that list. and as recently as 2005, reed ranked as the #1 undergraduate experience in the country, according to princeton review. princeton review also ranks reed in the top five of schools whose students “never stop studying,” among others.

    this, supplemented by the fact that reed ranks in the top 3 producers of PhDs (per capita) in the united states, perhaps portlanders’ fears of a nuclear catastrophe (as much of a catastrophe as a 250 kW nuclear reactor could produce) can be allayed.

  2. your portrayal of reed college is a little misguided.

    Yeah, I was a little rough. I apologize.

    I actually read about Reed initially in a Christian book called “Blue Like Jazz.” The author gushed over the apparently stunning academic climate at Reed. Perhaps I’m a little jealous.

    Your Princeton Review link requires registration, but I’ve copied the relevant information below:

    #5 in Best Overall Academic Experience for Undergraduates

    #7 in Class Discussions Encouraged

    #7 in Professors Get High Marks

    #4 in Their Students Never Stop Studying

    #20 in Gay Community Accepted

    #1 in Students Ignore God on a Regular Basis

    #17 in Best College Radio Station

    #11 in Intercollegiate Sports Unpopular or Nonexistent

    #7 in Students Most Nostalgic For Bill Clinton

    #9 in Birkenstock-Wearing, Tree-Hugging, Clove-Smoking Vegetarians

    #12 in Dodge Ball Targets

  3. Out here in the Nuclear (sorry, nucular) West, little academic reactors aren’t that uncommon. We had one at little Seattle University (not particularly noted for its dope-smoking), although they removed the fuel in 1987 rather than relicense it. However, the reactor is still there.

    The University of Washington had a much larger reactor right in the middle of campus, in a glass-enclosed building with exterior walkways. They removed the fuel some years ago but AFAIK the building is still there.

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