General Atomics - TRIGA Mark I

1.0 Site Identification

Type of Site: Research and Test Reactor Facility
Location: San Diego, CA
License No.: R-38
Docket No.: 50-89
License Status: License Terminated
Project Manager: None

2.0 Site Status Summary

The main General Atomics (GA) campus is located on a 120-acre site in California, approximately 15 miles north of downtown San Diego. GA's main facilities contain over one million square feet of engineering and test facilities, precision manufacturing installations, and advanced technology laboratories.

Areas adjacent to the TRIGA (Training, Research, Isotopes, General Atomics) facility include a building that contained a hot cell for fuel examination and other work, and a radioactive waste tank area. These facilities were decommissioned and the NRC license terminated in 2000.

By letter dated November 16, 1957, General Atomic (formerly GA Technologies Inc.) was issued License R-38 for the TRIGA Mark I. The prototype TRIGA nuclear reactor was commissioned on the GA site at Torrey Pines Mesa on May 3, 1958. Known as the TRIGA Mark I reactor, it was originally licensed to operate at a power level of 10 Kilowatts (KW), but was soon upgraded to 250 kilowatts. It could also be rapidly "pulsed" to power levels of over 1000 Megawatts (MW). The original TRIGA operated until 1997, when it was permanently shut down because of its age.

The licensee has dismantled the Mark I reactor to the extent possible. Decommissioning activities at GA were put on hold pending the transfer of fuel to DOE, which occurred in 2010, where all irradiated fuel elements from the TRIGA reactors located on the Torrey Pines Mesa were shipped to an authorized off-site storage facility at the Idaho National Laboratory. In 2018, GA finished developing a plan and schedule to complete decommissioning of the facility and terminate the NRC operating license. Decommissioning of the GA TRIGA Mark I reactor, including the final status survey, is complete, license termination activities were completed in 2021, and the license was terminated on December 7, 2021.

3.0 Major Technical or Regulatory Issues


4.0 Estimated Date For Closure

Part 50 license terminated December 7, 2021

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Wednesday, March 15, 2023