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Title: The Advanced Test Reactor Irradiation Facilities and Capabilities

Abstract

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 flowing 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 andmore » 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

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
Sponsoring Org.:
DOE - NE
OSTI Identifier:
911922
Report Number(s):
INL/CON-07-12216
TRN: US0800214
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC07-99ID-13727
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: PHYTRA1: First International Conference on Physics and Technology of Reactors and Applications,Marrakech, Morocco,03/14/2007,03/16/2007
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
21 - SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; CONTROL SYSTEMS; FAST NEUTRONS; FEEDBACK; FISSION; GASES; IRRADIATION; MIXTURES; MONITORING; MONITORS; PHYSICS; TEST REACTORS; THERMOCOUPLES; WATER; Advanced Test Reactor; flux profiles; irradiation experiments; monitoring and control

Citation Formats

S. Blaine Grover, and Raymond V. Furstenau. The Advanced Test Reactor Irradiation Facilities and Capabilities. United States: N. p., 2007. Web.
S. Blaine Grover, & Raymond V. Furstenau. The Advanced Test Reactor Irradiation Facilities and Capabilities. United States.
S. Blaine Grover, and Raymond V. Furstenau. Thu . "The Advanced Test Reactor Irradiation Facilities and Capabilities". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/911922.
@article{osti_911922,
title = {The Advanced Test Reactor Irradiation Facilities and Capabilities},
author = {S. Blaine Grover and Raymond V. Furstenau},
abstractNote = {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 flowing 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.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Mar 01 00:00:00 EST 2007},
month = {Thu Mar 01 00:00:00 EST 2007}
}

Conference:
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  • The ATR is one of the world’s premiere test reactors for performing long term, high flux, and/or large volume irradiation test programs. It 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 Irradiation Test Vehicle (ITV) installed in 1999 enhanced these capabilities by providing a built in experiment monitoring and control system for instrumented and/or temperature controlled experiments. This built in control system significantly reduces the cost formore » an actively monitored/temperature controlled experiments by providing the thermocouple connections, temperature control system, and temperature control gas supply and exhaust systems already in place at the irradiation position. Although the ITV in-core hardware was removed from the ATR during the last core replacement completed in early 2005, it (or a similar facility) could be re-installed for an irradiation program when the need arises. The proposed Gas Test Loop currently being designed for installation in the ATR will provide additional capability for testing of not only gas reactor materials and fuels but will also include enhanced fast flux rates for testing of materials and fuels for other next generation reactors including preliminary testing for fast reactor fuels and materials. This paper discusses the different irradiation capabilities available and the cost benefit issues related to each capability.« less
  • The Advanced Test Reactor (ATR), located at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL), is one of the most versatile operating research reactors in the Untied States. The ATR has a long history of supporting reactor fuel and material research for the US government and other test sponsors. The INL is owned by the US Department of Energy (DOE) and currently operated by Battelle Energy Alliance (BEA). The ATR is the third generation of test reactors built at the Test Reactor Area, now named the Reactor Technology Complex (RTC), whose mission is to study the effects of intense neutron and gamma radiationmore » on reactor materials and fuels. The current experiments in the ATR are for a variety of customers--US DOE, foreign governments and private researchers, and commercial companies that need neutrons. The ATR has several unique features that enable the reactor to perform diverse simultaneous tests for multiple test sponsors. The ATR has been operating since 1967, and is expected to continue operating for several more decades. The remainder of this paper discusses the ATR design features, testing options, previous experiment programs, future plans for the ATR capabilities and experiments, and some introduction to the INL and DOE's expectations for nuclear research in the future.« less
  • 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 capabilities include simple capsule experiments, instrumented and/or temperature-controlled experiments, and pressurized water loop experiment facilities. Monitoring systems have also been utilized to monitor different parameters such as fission gases for fuel experiments, to measure specimen performance during irradiation. ATR’s control system provides a stable axial flux profile throughout each reactormore » operating cycle, and allows the thermal and fast neutron fluxes to be controlled separately in different sections of the core. The ATR irradiation positions vary in diameter from 16 mm to 127 mm over an active core height of 1.2 m. This paper discusses the different irradiation capabilities with examples of different experiments and the cost/benefit issues related to each capability. The recent designation of ATR as a national scientific user facility will make the ATR much more accessible at very low to no cost for research by universities and possibly commercial entities.« less
  • 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 operationmore » 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.« less
  • The Advanced Test Reactor (ATR), at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL), is one of the world’s premier test reactors for providing the capability for studying the effects of intense neutron and gamma radiation on reactor materials and fuels. The physical configuration of the ATR, a 4-leaf clover shape, allows the reactor to be operated at different power levels in the corner “lobes” to allow for different testing conditions for multiple simultaneous experiments. The combination of high flux (maximum thermal neutron fluxes of 1E15 neutrons per square centimeter per second and maximum fast [E>1.0 MeV] neutron fluxes of 5E14 neutrons permore » square centimeter per second) and large test volumes (up to 122 cm long and 12.7 cm diameter) provide unique testing opportunities. For future research, some ATR modifications and enhancements are currently planned. In 2007 the US Department of Energy designated the ATR as a National Scientific User Facility (NSUF) to facilitate greater access to the ATR for material testing research by a broader user community. This paper provides more details on some of the ATR capabilities, key design features, experiments, and plans for the NSUF.« less