The Nuclear Engineering & Science Center’s (NESC) TRIGA Reactor celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2021 since its first “criticality” on December 18, 1961. Colleague, friend, and long-time partner of the NESC, Kindai University, also celebrates the 60th anniversary of their own university reactor. The Kindai University Reactor was purchased and installed by Koichi Seko, the first president of the University, with a strong desire to “educate future nuclear engineers with a real reactor”. It achieved its first criticality on the 11th of November, making it the first privately-owned and university-first nuclear reactor in Japan.
In celebration of these achievements, both the NESC and Kindai University Reactor staff sent an exchange of gifts to recognize each other for this accomplishment. In Japanese culture, a 60th anniversary or birthday is an important celebration called a “Kanreki”. This milestone birthday is important because it signifies the start of a new 60 year cycle. This cycle comes from the Chinese zodiac system of counting years. The celebration of kanreki signifies a rebirth and the start of the new cycle. In this celebration, the symbolic color is red.
To celebrate the Kindai Reactor’s Kanreki, the NESC staff wore red and sent a celebratory plaque to the Kindai Reactor. The gift sent from the Kindai Reactor is a beautiful “Kakejiku” (hanging scroll), hand-painted by the Kindai University’s Calligraphy Club.
Thank you to the Kindai University and Reactor staff for your partnership and friendship over the many years, we look forward to future collaborations over the next 60 years. Happy Kanreki!