National Criticality Experiments Research Center: Capability and Status
National Criticality Experiments Research Center: Capability and Status After seven years, the former Los Alamos Critical Experiments Facility (LACEF), or Pajarito Site, has reopened for business as the National Criticality Experiments Research Center (NCERC) at the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS). Four critical assembly machines (Comet, Planet, Flat-Top, and Godiva-IV) made the journey from Los Alamos to the NNSS. All four machines received safety system upgrades along with new digital control systems. Between these machines, systems ranging from the thermal through the intermediate to the fast spectrum may be assembled. Steady-State, transient, and super-prompt critical conditions may be explored. NCERC is the sole remaining facility in the United States capable of conducting general-purpose nuclear materials handling including the construction and operation of high-multiplication assemblies, delayed critical assemblies, and prompt critical assemblies. Reconstitution of the unique capabilities at NCERC ensures the viability of (1) The Nuclear Renaissance, (2) Stockpile Stewardship, and (3) and the next generation of criticality experimentalists.
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