Press coverage of the Society and its activities

“Cutting edge” artifacts not always high tech

Written by
Jim Ungrin
the North Renfrew Times

The Nuclear Heritage group have been collecting a wide range of articles related to various aspects of and events that have occurred in the nuclear industry over the past 75 years. Some of these have to do with significant scientific advances, sometimes of the high-tech, cutting-edge nature.  One artifact recently donated that does have a “cutting edge” but would not generally be regarded as high-tech is a an Indian or Gurkha ceremonial knife called a “kukri” or “khukuri”.  It was presented by Indian reactor trainees to Al Herriott of CRNL, who led the training program for Indian reactor trainees at Chalk River.  The trainees were preparing for the operation of the CIR (Canada India Reactor) reactor at Trombay in India and presented the knife to Al on completion of their course. The 40 MW CIR reactor was modeled on the NRX reactor at Chalk River and first went critical in 1960. 

 The kukri, a characteristic weapon of the Gurkhas in the Nepalese army, has an overall length of 43 cm.   It is held in a leather scabbard and traditionally is accompanied by two smaller (10 cm long) knives, one of which is a tool for sharpening the main blade.

The Society for the Preservation of Canada’s Nuclear Heritage Inc. continues to welcome donations of all types, particularly unique human-interest ones that have a story connected directly to the nuclear industry.  To donate contact the Society at, a member of the Society Executive or Jim Ungrin at or 613 584 3055.