Neutron Radiography Reactor Reactivity -- Focused Lessons Learned

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As part of the Global Threat Reduction Initiative, the Neutron Radiography Reactor (NRAD) at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) was converted from using highly enriched uranium (HEU) to low enriched uranium (LEU) fuel. After the conversion, NRAD resumed operations and is meeting operational requirements. Radiography image quality and the number of images that can be produced in a given time frame match pre-conversion capabilities. However, following the conversion, NRAD’s excess reactivity with the LEU fuel was less than it had been with the HEU fuel. Although some differences between model predictions and actual performance are to be expected, the lack ... continued below

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Woolstenhulme, Eric; Damiana, Randal; Schreck, Kenneth; Phillips, Ann Marie & Hewit, Dana November 1, 2010.

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As part of the Global Threat Reduction Initiative, the Neutron Radiography Reactor (NRAD) at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) was converted from using highly enriched uranium (HEU) to low enriched uranium (LEU) fuel. After the conversion, NRAD resumed operations and is meeting operational requirements. Radiography image quality and the number of images that can be produced in a given time frame match pre-conversion capabilities. However, following the conversion, NRAD’s excess reactivity with the LEU fuel was less than it had been with the HEU fuel. Although some differences between model predictions and actual performance are to be expected, the lack of flexibility in NRAD’s safety documentation prevented adjusting the reactivity by adding more fuel, until the safety documentation could be modified. To aid future reactor conversions, a reactivity-focused Lessons Learned meeting was held. This report summarizes the findings of the lessons learned meeting and addresses specific questions posed by DOE regarding NRAD’s conversion and reactivity.

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  • Report No.: INL/EXT-10-20453
  • Grant Number: DE-AC07-05ID14517
  • DOI: 10.2172/993542 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 993542
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc1014249

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Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • November 1, 2010

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Oct. 14, 2017, 8:36 a.m.

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  • Nov. 3, 2017, 5:21 p.m.

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Woolstenhulme, Eric; Damiana, Randal; Schreck, Kenneth; Phillips, Ann Marie & Hewit, Dana. Neutron Radiography Reactor Reactivity -- Focused Lessons Learned, report, November 1, 2010; Idaho. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1014249/: accessed November 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.