The centerpiece of the Nuclear Science Center is a 1 megawatt
TRIGA (Testing, Research, Isotopes, General Atomics) reactor, an
open "swimming pool"-type research reactor cooled by natural
convection providing passive and inherent safety. The core consists
of cylindrical fuel elements reflected with graphite.
In this configuration, samples can be easily loaded and unloaded
for long and short irradiations ranging from a few seconds to
multiple days. Ample space is available on our mezzanine to provide
monitoring capabilities during irradiation.
The reactor operates at a maximum steady-state power level of
one megawatt (MW). At this level, the thermal neutron flux at
various sample irradiation locations in the core ranges from about
1x1012 neutrons/cm2-sec to a maximum of
1.4x1013 neutrons/cm2- sec. Lower flux is
also possible if desired. The gamma dose on the reactor face at 1
MW is about 2x107 rad/hr.
The reactor can accommodate a variety of sample sizes and shapes
for a variety of uses, including isotope production for radioactive
tracers and medical applications. The open pool reactor allows
flexibility for any sample.