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Title: Irradiation Facilities at the Advanced Test Reactor

Abstract

The Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) is the third generation and largest test reactor built in the Reactor Technology Complex (RTC – formerly known as the Test Reactor Area), located at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL), to study the effects of intense neutron and gamma radiation on reactor materials and fuels. The RTC was established in the early 1950s with the development of the Materials Testing Reactor (MTR), which operated until 1970. The second major reactor was the Engineering Test Reactor (ETR), which operated from 1957 to 1981, and finally the ATR, which began operation in 1967 and will continue operation well into the future. These reactors have produced a significant portion of the world’s data on materials response to reactor environments. The wide range of experiment facilities in the ATR and the unique ability to vary the neutron flux in different areas of the core allow numerous experiment conditions to co-exist during the same reactor operating cycle. Simple experiments may involve a non-instrumented capsule containing test specimens with no real-time monitoring or control capabilities1. More sophisticated testing facilities include inert gas temperature control systems and pressurized water loops that have continuous chemistry, pressure, temperature, and flow control as well asmore » numerous test specimen monitoring capabilities. There are also apparatus that allow for the simulation of reactor transients on test specimens.« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
Sponsoring Org.:
DOE - NE
OSTI Identifier:
911130
Report Number(s):
INL/CON-05-00907
TRN: US0704409
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC07-99ID-13727
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: ENC 2005 - The Ninth European Nuclear Conference,Versailles, France,12/11/2005,12/14/2005
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
21 - SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; CHEMISTRY; ETR REACTOR; GAMMA RADIATION; IRRADIATION; MATERIALS TESTING REACTORS; MONITORING; NEUTRON FLUX; NEUTRONS; REACTOR MATERIALS; REACTOR TECHNOLOGY; TEMPERATURE CONTROL; TEST REACTORS; TESTING; TRANSIENTS; WATER; ATR; gamma; irradiation; neutron

Citation Formats

S. Blaine Grover. Irradiation Facilities at the Advanced Test Reactor. United States: N. p., 2005. Web.
S. Blaine Grover. Irradiation Facilities at the Advanced Test Reactor. United States.
S. Blaine Grover. 2005. "Irradiation Facilities at the Advanced Test Reactor". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/911130.
@article{osti_911130,
title = {Irradiation Facilities at the Advanced Test Reactor},
author = {S. Blaine Grover},
abstractNote = {The Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) is the third generation and largest test reactor built in the Reactor Technology Complex (RTC – formerly known as the Test Reactor Area), located at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL), to study the effects of intense neutron and gamma radiation on reactor materials and fuels. The RTC was established in the early 1950s with the development of the Materials Testing Reactor (MTR), which operated until 1970. The second major reactor was the Engineering Test Reactor (ETR), which operated from 1957 to 1981, and finally the ATR, which began operation in 1967 and will continue operation well into the future. These reactors have produced a significant portion of the world’s data on materials response to reactor environments. The wide range of experiment facilities in the ATR and the unique ability to vary the neutron flux in different areas of the core allow numerous experiment conditions to co-exist during the same reactor operating cycle. Simple experiments may involve a non-instrumented capsule containing test specimens with no real-time monitoring or control capabilities1. More sophisticated testing facilities include inert gas temperature control systems and pressurized water loops that have continuous chemistry, pressure, temperature, and flow control as well as numerous test specimen monitoring capabilities. There are also apparatus that allow for the simulation of reactor transients on test specimens.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2005,
month =
}

Conference:
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  • The Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) is one of the world’s premiere test reactors for performing long term, high flux, and/or large volume irradiation test programs. The ATR is a very versatile facility with a wide variety of experimental test capabilities for providing the environment needed in an irradiation experiment. These different capabilities include passive sealed capsule experiments, instrumented and/or temperature-controlled experiments, and pressurized water loop experiment facilities. The ATR has enhanced capabilities in experiment monitoring and control systems for instrumented and/or temperature controlled experiments. The control systems utilize feedback from thermocouples in the experiment to provide a custom blended flowingmore » inert gas mixture to control the temperature in the experiments. Monitoring systems have also been utilized on the exhaust gas lines from the experiment to monitor different parameters, such as fission gases for fuel experiments, during irradiation. ATR’s unique control system provides axial flux profiles in the experiments, unperturbed by axially positioned control components, throughout each reactor operating cycle and over the duration of test programs requiring many years of irradiation. The ATR irradiation positions vary in diameter from 1.6 cm (0.625 inches) to 12.7 cm (5.0 inches) over an active core length of 122 cm (48.0 inches). Thermal and fast neutron fluxes can be adjusted radially across the core depending on the needs of individual test programs. This paper will discuss the different irradiation capabilities available and the cost/benefit issues related to each capability. Examples of different experiments will also be discussed to demonstrate the use of the capabilities and facilities at ATR for performing irradiation experiments.« less
  • The United States Department of Energy’s Advanced Gas Reactor (AGR) Fuel Development and Qualification Program will be irradiating eight particle fuel tests in the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) located at the newly formed Idaho National Laboratory (INL) to support development of the next generation Very High Temperature Reactor (VHTR) in the United States. The ATR has a long history of irradiation testing in support of reactor development and the INL has been designated as the new United States Department of Energy’s lead laboratory for nuclear energy development. These AGR fuel experiments will be irradiated over the next ten years tomore » demonstrate and qualify new particle fuel for use in high temperature gas reactors. The experiments will be irradiated in an inert sweep gas atmosphere with on-line temperature monitoring and control combined with on-line fission product monitoring of the sweep gas. The final design phase has just been completed on the first experiment (AGR-1) in this series and the support systems and fission product monitoring system that will monitor and control the experiment during irradiation. This paper discusses the development of the experimental hardware and support system designs and the status of the experiment.« less
  • The United States Department of Energy’s Advanced Gas Reactor (AGR) Fuel Development and Qualification Program will be irradiating eight separate low enriched uranium (LEU) oxycarbide (UCO) tri-isotopic (TRISO) particle fuel (in compact form) experiments in the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) located at the newly formed Idaho National Laboratory (INL). These irradiations and fuel development are being accomplished to support development of the next generation reactors in the United States. The ATR has a long history of irradiation testing in support of reactor development and the INL has been designated as the new United States Department of Energy’s lead laboratory formore » nuclear energy development. The ATR is one of the world’s premiere test reactors for performing long term, high flux, and/or large volume irradiation test programs. These AGR fuel experiments will be irradiated over the next ten years to demonstrate and qualify new particle fuel for use in high temperature gas reactors. The goals of the irradiation experiments are to provide irradiation performance data to support fuel process development, to qualify fuel for normal operating conditions, to support development and validation of fuel performance and fission product transport models and codes, and to provide irradiated fuel and materials for post irradiation examination (PIE) and safety testing. The experiments, which will each consist of six separate capsules, will be irradiated in an inert sweep gas atmosphere with individual on-line temperature monitoring and control for each capsule. The swept gas will also have on-line fission product monitoring to track performance of the fuel in each individual capsule during irradiation.« less
  • The United States Department of Energy’s Advanced Gas Reactor (AGR) Fuel Development and Qualification Program will be irradiating eight separate low enriched uranium (LEU) oxycarbide (UCO) tri-isotropic (TRISO) particle fuel (in compact form) experiments in the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) located at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL). The ATR has a long history of irradiation testing in support of reactor development and the INL has been designated as the new United States Department of Energy’s lead laboratory for nuclear energy development. The ATR is one of the world’s premiere test reactors for performing long term, high flux, and/or large volumemore » irradiation test programs. These irradiations and fuel development are being accomplished to support development of the next generation reactors in the United States. The AGR fuel experiments will be irradiated over the next ten years to demonstrate and qualify new particle fuel for use in high temperature gas reactors. The goals of the irradiation experiments are to provide irradiation performance data to support fuel process development, to qualify fuel for normal operating conditions, to support development and validation of fuel performance and fission product transport models and codes, and to provide irradiated fuel and materials for post irradiation examination (PIE) and safety testing.1,2 The experiments, which will each consist of six separate capsules, will be irradiated in an inert sweep gas atmosphere with individual on-line temperature monitoring and control of each capsule. The sweep gas will also have on-line fission product monitoring on its effluent to track performance of the fuel in each individual capsule during irradiation. The final design phase for the first experiment was completed in 2005, and the fabrication and assembly of the first experiment test train (designated AGR-1) as well as the support systems and fission product monitoring system that will monitor and control the experiment during irradiation were completed in 2006. The experiment was inserted in the ATR in December 2006, and will serve as a shakedown test of the multi-capsule experiment design that will be used in the subsequent irradiations as well as a test of the early variants of the fuel produced under this program. The experiment test train as well as the monitoring, control, and data collection systems are discussed.« less
  • The United States Department of Energy’s Advanced Gas Reactor (AGR) Fuel Development and Qualification Program will be irradiating eight separate tri-isotopic (TRISO) particle fuel (in compact form) experiments in the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) located at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL). These irradiations and fuel development are being accomplished to support development of the next generation reactors in the United States. The ATR has a long history of irradiation testing in support of reactor development and the INL has been designated as the United States Department of Energy’s lead laboratory for nuclear energy development. The ATR is one of themore » world’s premiere test reactors for performing long term, high flux, and/or large volume irradiation test programs. These AGR fuel experiments will be irradiated over the next ten years to demonstrate and qualify new particle fuel for use in high temperature gas reactors. The experiments, which will each consist of six separate capsules, will be irradiated in an inert sweep gas atmosphere with individual on-line temperature monitoring and control for each capsule. The swept gas will also have on-line fission product monitoring to track performance of the fuel in each individual capsule during irradiation.« less