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Dr. Adriaan Buijs


Department of Engineering Physics

reactor core physics, reactor modelling, reactor design, Monte Carlo methods, data analysis
Areas of Specialization:
Research Clusters:
JHE A325
+1 905.525.9140 x 24925


Currently Accepting Graduate Students

Research Interests:

The physics of nuclear reactor cores, in particular of heavy-water moderated pressure-tube reactors (CANDU).

The CANDU reactors are unique in   their use of heavy water as a moderator, and, for the classic CANDU reactors, as a coolant as well.  As a result of the excellent neutron economy, the CANDU   reactor can use natural uranium as a fuel.  This feature and the fact that CANDU reactors are refuelled on-power makes them ideally suited to be fuelled with alternative fuels, such as fuels containing thorium. In my research in this area existing experiments with test  reactors utilizing thorium-based fuel are analysed and a formal methodology is applied to the result to confirm that the test measurements are relevant for large power reactors.  The methodology is commonly referred to as a sensitivity and uncertainty study, and assesses the degree to which two different systems are sensitive to uncertainties in nuclear cross section data.

Design analyses for the Super-Critical-Water Reactor (SCWR) design of the Canadian Nuclear Laboratories:

The SCWR is Canada's contribution to the International Generation IV designs of nuclear reactors.   I am studying the neutronic properties of the current conceptual design of the reactor core.  This includes novel methods of reactor analysis and the design of test fuel relevant to the reactor design.

Development of analysis tools for research in reactor physics:

I also work on the development of a Monte Carlo code for nuclear reactors that is based on the GEANT4 code, used in particle physics.  The unique feature of this code (G4STORK) is its ability to follow neutron distributions in true time, as opposed to the traditional codes, which analyse the neutron distribution (quasi)-statically, from one generation to the next.  This code allows for a proper treatment of delayed neutrons (and photons), and provides a much more accurate description of systems that are far off-critical (such as accelerator-driven systems).

Support for operation of the McMaster Nuclear Reactor MNR:

A PhD student in my group is instrumental in reconstructing the burnup history of the McMaster Nuclear Reactor; the goal of this research is to establish the current isotopic content of the fuel, the neutron and photon fields in the reactor, and -as a result- optimal locations for production of medical radio-isotopes in the core.  This study involves measurements of the neutron and photon fields in the core.


M.A.Sc. and Ph.D. from Utrecht University.

Did you know…

Dr. Buijs is Fellow and Past President of the Canadian Nuclear Society


Dr. Buijs was with Atomic Energy of Canada Limited from 2001 to 2008, first as senior scientist in safety and licensing in the Reactor Core Physics division, then as section head for neutronic overpower protection in CANDU reactors. 

In 2006 he became manager of the Physics Design group for the ACR-1000.  In 2009 Dr. Buijs was appointed as professor in the Engineering Physics Department of McMaster University in Hamilton.  He has served as associate chair in the department and has acted as chair.

Dr. Buijs has a Master’s degree in experimental physics from the State University in Utrecht.   He received a PhD from the same University on research on photon-photon collisions performed at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center in California, USA.   Prior to joining AECL, He was Fellow and staff member at CERN, the European Centre for Particle Physics from 1986 to 1994.  From 1994 to 2001 he was full professor of experimental physics at Utrecht University and director of the particle physics department.



  1. J. Sharpe, A. Buijs, “Practical Environment-Corrected Discontinuity Factors and Homogenized Parameters for Improved PT-SCWR Diffusion Solutions”, Annals of Nuclear Energy 111: 101-117, 2018.
  2. M. Alqahtani, A. Buijs, “Utilizing Simulation and Experiment for In-Core Gamma Heat Estimation of the McMaster Nuclear Reactor”, 37th Annual Conference of the Canadian Nuclear Society and 41st Annual CNS/CNA Student Conference, Niagara Falls, Canada, June 2017.
  3. J. Sharpe, A. Buijs, J. Pencer, “Methodology to Design Simulated Irradiated Fuel by Maximizing Integral Indices (c_k,E,G)”, Journal of Nuclear Radiation Science, Vol. 2(2), 021017-7, 2016.
  4. J. Sharpe, J. Atfield, J. Chow, L. Yaraskavitch, A. Buijs, “Sensitivity Analysis of ZED-2 Experiments Using (Pu,Th)O2 Fuel Bundles to Assess Their Applicability to the SCWR Conceptual Design “, CNL Nuclear Review, 2016, 5(2): 299-308
  5. R. Ibrahim, A. Buijs, “A Preliminary Concept for the Initial Core of the SCWR”, Proceedings 2014 Canada-China Conference on Advanced Reactor Development (CCCARD-2014) Niagara Falls Marriott Fallsview Hotel & Spa, Niagara Falls, Ontario Canada, April 27-30, 2014.
  6. L. Russell, A. Buijs, G. Jonkmans, “G4-STORK: A Monte Carlo Reactor Kinetics Simulation Code”, Nuclear Science and Engineering 176(3): 370-375, 2014.


The first observation of the formation of a spin-one meson (the iota) in photon-photon collisions.  This obviously requires one of the photons to be far off mass-shell.