Late Krzysztof Pytel, PhD

dr Krzysztof Pytel

It is with great regret and sorrow that we inform you of the passing of Krzysztof Pytel, PhD, on 21st August 2018 at the age of 72.

The late Krzysztof Pytel was the supervisor of EWA and MARIA reactors.
He devoted his whole life to nuclear physics and research work.
He will forever be remembered as a wonderful man and friend.


Funeral service will be held on Monday 27th August 2018.

The last farewell will be held in funeral home under address ul. S Batorego 44, Otwock, at 13:00.

Entrance to the cementery in Otwock at 14:00.

Requiescat in pace


friends, colleagues,

NCBJ Management and Scientific Council


Farewell to Krzysztof Pytel, PhD

We bid farewell to our colleague and friend Krzysztof Pytel, PhD, who was associated with the Świerk institute from the seventies. A man of great knowledge, tremendous professional competencies, vast experience and equally great propriety. A man, with whom it was great satisfaction to work. One cannot omit, that Krzysztof Pytel was “a fountain of knowledge” in nuclear physics and research reactors, EWA and MARIA reactors in particular. Krzysztof Pytel was an excellent professional, as well as a colleague who was open to everyone, especially to young staff, starting their adventure with reactors. Since the beginning of his career, he played an active part in preparing programmes for utilization of MARIA research reactor. His professional interest focused on work related to selecting physical parameters of MARIA reactor, through analysis of different possibilities of utilization of the reactor. As a young physicist, he had the pleasure of taking part in the criticality experiment of MARIA reactor. His past work results in the most valued features of this reactor, one of the few in the world with neutron parameters allowing for production of a number of radioisotopes used mainly in nuclear medicine, including production of molybdenum. MARIA reactor owes its present status largely to hard work of Krzysztof Pytel, PhD.

Krzysztof Pytel always followed the good of his co-workers, as well as his workplace, taking care of the way in which knowledge and experience is transferred. He restlessly passed his competences onto younger colleagues whenever possible, allowing for a steady flow of competencies on certain positions. He was always eager to help. A great colleague, a friend with positive attitude towards searching solutions to various problems at all times. He acted as the real promoter of multiple doctoral and master’s theses, although he wasn’t mentioned as such from formal issues. However, this was never a problem from Krzysztof Pytel, PhD, as the help in achieving research goals was a matter of ideology and it was not beyond question. At the same time, he was characterized by extraordinary modesty and friendship towards the whole work environment.

Notwithstanding his knowledge on nuclear physics and nuclear reactors, Krzysztof Pytel, PhD, was also interested in interdisciplinary methods of nuclear physics, neutrons in particular. He had a passion for newest topics in astrophysics and cosmology, analysis of which was also a subject of his research. He undertook all of these tasks with huge dedication and great expertise. Krzysztof Pytel was an author of a few dozen publications and over a hundred internal reports.

Knowledge and experience of Krzysztof Pytel, PhD were widely recognized not only by the teams of MARIA reactor and all of the NCBJ, but also by a number of scientific institutions, including both polish and foreign universities. He was an expert of International Atomic Energy Agency in the area of nuclear safety within the framework of technical help for developing countries. Teams of MARIA reactor regularly benefited from his help while preparing the analyses and calculations for new projects. Krzysztof Pytel was a person who made it possible to launch an innovative programme of topaz irradiation in EWA and MARIA reactors. He introduced, first in EWA and then in MARIA reactor, the technology of modifying silicon crystals with neutrons. In 2006 this technology was honoured by Polish Industrial Development Agency with an award Polish Product of the Future. He was a key member of the team, which implemented a programme of irradiating uranium targets for production of molybdenum. Today it is a key feature not only of MARIA reactor, but also of the whole NCBJ constituting a significant portion of institute’s income. During the years 2006-2012 he greatly contributed to converting MARIA reactor from highly enriched fuel to low enriched, conducting physical and heat-hydraulic calculations in collaboration with Argonne National Laboratory, USA.

During the years 2009-2016 Krzysztof Pytel was partly responsible for safety matters related to transport of spent fuel from Russian Federation under “Global Threat Reduction Initiative” (GTRI). He was the main expert responsible for safety analyses of experimental devices inserted and operated. For over a quarter of a century he remained the main editor of Safety Report of MARIA reactor. Krzysztof Pytel, PhD, played a key role in Safety Committee of MARIA Reactor.

Between 1985-2002, being an expert of IAEA, he was a substantive consultant under this institution during a number of IAEA missions directed towards countries developing their reactor programmes. As IAEA expert he worked in Iraq (three missions), Iran (three missions), Syria (two missions), Vietnam (one mission). He conducted lectures and trainings on reactor physics in Cairo, Athens, Lisbon, among other places. He organized and led a long-term course in Świerk for employees of nuclear institute in Syria.

Krzysztof Pytel’s commitment to working for the institute in Świerk is evident in the fact, that he was one of very few people who were capable of refusing an internship awarded by International Atomic Energy Agency in favour of his current duties. He accepted the internship only when the situation allowed him to.

Krzysztof Pytel’s wide profile of scientific, research and implementation, or educational work did not limit him in taking part in a number of extracurricular activities. His passion for sailing was widely known. He awaited his vacation, which he usually spent with his grandson by one of the lakes in Augustów Lake District. Trips to caves in Polish Jura will remain in memories of his friends, and one of the caves nearby Łagów in Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship was discovered by him.


Job history of Krzysztof Pytel, PhD

He graduated Faculty of Physics, University of Warsaw in 12th September 1969 and was employed in IBJ in facility XI the same year (1st November 1969). In 1971 (1st April 1971) he was appointed an assistant and two years later – senior assistant (1st June 1973). From the first years of work he showed exceptional diligence, initiative and the ability to organize research work. Along with eng. Czesław Nycz, MSc, he developed a number of analyses and security means for EWA and MARIA reactors. During his work he greatly contributed to calorimetric analyses of EWA and MARIA reactors. His knowledge and commitment played an important role in measurements in EWA reactor during the international conference “Intercomparison of reactor calorimeter” in Świerk in May 1972.

On 1st March 1976 he was assigned to Head of Operating Reactor Analyses and Nuclear Safety Section of Reactor Operations Division. From 1st May 1979 he was appointed an Assistant Professor and five months after (1st October 1979) Krzysztof Pytel PhD was assigned to Head of EWA Reactor Operations Section.

On 19th May 1981 he was awarded for conducting research and implementation work of additional safety system and emergency spraying of EWA reactor core. In the same year, 1981, Krzysztof Pytel was given an implementation certificate for developing a method of non-contact control and implementing a real-time exposure in mobile irradiation channels in nuclear reactor.

In 1982 he began an internship in international Atomic Energy Agency in West Germany, where he gained a title of Doctor of Engineering issued by Resolution of Scientific Council of Institute of Nuclear Research in 30th March 1982.

The next steps in the career of Krzysztof Pytel was assigning him to Head of EWA Reactor Operations Section in Centre for Reactors and Radioisotope Production (ORiPI) on 1st March 1983. Serving this duty in June 1984 he gained the authority of shift manager of EWA reactor. In the same year, he was appointed a member Programme Board of ORiPI and from November 1984 he was a Representative of ORiPI Director. After organisational changes in Świerk, in 1990 he took the place of Head of Reactor Analyses and Measurements Section. After next changes which took place in 1994 and 1999 he held management positions in sections of reactor analyses and measurements, including the Head of Reactor Measurements Section and Deputy Head of Reactor Research and Techniques Section.

Among his certified achievements is a patent certificate No 253670 issued on 25th April 1990 by Patent Office, titled “Method of production of high radiation purity iodine-125 from xenon-124 and a probe for production of high radiation purity iodine-125 from xenon-124” (ZA 148587).

For everybody who knew him, he will remain an exemplary colleague, friend, employee, or simply a human.

Friends and colleagues from MARIA reactor.


Krzysztof Pytel, PhD