The Materials Testing Reactor Page: 5
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Fuel for the reactor is loaded through the top, which can be opened, and dis-
charged through a chute in tho bottom which coBsunicatee with a water filled
canal. The canal, which le located beneath the reactor, is a tile lined con-
crete basin about 160 feet long and 18 feet deep. Its purpose is to provide a
place where spent fuel elenmnt, chin rods, and experimental equipment can be
stored under water while the radioactivity’ decays. It is necessary to cool the
fuel elements before they can be processed or hcved to other locations safely
and tho depth of the canal water is sufficient to provide adequate shielding
while these intensely radioactive materials are being handled. Directly benoath
the reactor in the canal le located the fuel unloading mechanism. This device
consists essentially of a large tube which can be placed In an upright position
to acoept a fuel element, then tilted to a horizontal position to discharge the
element into tho canal water. The canal also contains a submerged sawing me-
chanisa and storage racks for the fuel elements and shim rods. The canal extends
outside the reactor building and it equipped with a hatch through which submerged
equipment can be taken out of the canal for transportation to the other locations.
To fulfill the purpose of the Materials Testing Reactor the experimental facilities
provided have been designed to be as varied as possible. The shield is penetrated
by about one hundred holes of various sizes. Embedded in the concrete are all the
permanent liners for the experimental holes. There are seventeen large experimental
holes that lead from the four reactor structure faces either to the reactor tank
wall or to the active lattice. They are characterized by the presence in each of &
special radiation door, the sole purpose of which is to minimize danger to personnel
in the reactor building during plug handling operations. These holes provide the
largest volume of high flux in the reactor. In addition, where the highest fast
flux is required spare control rod holes and unused spaces in the fuel section can
be utilized if desired. The east wall of the reactor has access to a thermal column
which is provided with seven horizontal and two vertical holes. Depending upon fu-
ture demands space is available through the vest vail for a shielding facility or
another thermal column. In addition to the above mentioned facilities, there are
two horizontal graphite holes, two pneumatic rabbit holes and one through hole, all
of which extend into higi flux region. Vertical hydraulic rabbit holes are placed
in the reactor bottom plug and extend up close to the fuel section.
Other experimental holes are located in various positions on the aides and top of
the reactor so that by suitable placement experiments can be carried out In a vide
variety of flux fields. Each of these experimental test holes is initially filled
with a dumay plug which can be removed and stored when it is desired to conduct an
experiment in that hole. In formulating the design considerable thought was given
to the future needs of the experimenters who will use these facilities. Each indi-
vidual experiment, whether it be to test metal, to circulate a liquid or a gas or to
test small sections of other reactor fuel elements must bo designed to be Inserted
in some particular experimental hole in such a manner that it can replace the dunsy
* plug which would ordinarily occupy such facility, Dumny plugs, which conform
closely to the inside dimensions of the experimental hole, are constructed of ma-
terials which conform generally to the materials used In the adjacent section of
the reactor, ie. concrete, graphite or beryllium. The pings located in high flux
regions become heated at normal power levels and Bust be coded by air or by cir-
culation of water. Most experimental beam holes are provided with service facilities
such as air, exhaust gas, fresh cooling voter and process water. (The water which
circulotes through the reactor for cooling purposes is referred to as process water).
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Weber, L. J. The Materials Testing Reactor, report, September 24, 1953; [Oak Ridge, Tennessee]. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc172781/m1/5/: accessed May 26, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.