Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Sign In
Navigate Up

Skip Navigation Links250 kW TRIGA Neutron Radiography Reactor


Instrument Description

The HFEF TRIGA reactor is known as NRAD. It is used for neutron radiography. Both dysprosium and cadmium-covered indium foils are used as neutron detector foils; these are irradiated in the neutron beam, then transferred to a film cassette and allowed to decay for three to four half-lives against ordinary X-ray film to form the image. The dysprosium foils, used for thermal neutron radiographs of low-enriched fuels and thin structural materials, produce excellent detail, but specimen thickness and fuel enrichment is limited. The indium foils are used for epithermal neutron radiographs of highly enriched fuels and thicker structural materials. These do not show as much specimen detail, but they can be used for thicker specimens and more highly enriched fuel. In many cases, both foils are used to gain an outline of the fuel as well as its internal structure.

NRAD is capable of performing small-scale material activation in one of two irradiation locations within the reactor core. Irradiation/activation experiments may be placed in either the dry irradiation tube, positioned at the edge of the reactor core, or in the wet tube located in the center of the reactor core.



NRAD enables neutron-radiography irradiations to verify materials behaviors such as:

  • Fuel pellet separations

  • Fuel central-void formation

  • Pellet cracking

  • Evidence of fuel melting

  • Material integrity under normal and extreme conditions


The NRAD beam tubes were designed for examination of fuel elements to identify areas of interest, such as location of fuel for disassembly, identification of cracking, density variations, and hydrides in cladding. NRAD is equipped with two beam tubes and two separate radiography stations. Neutron radiography of elements, capsules and loops is performed in the main cell at workstation 4M. Specimens are placed into a radiograph holder that is lowered into the NRAD neutron beam located below the floor. The holders optimally position the specimen for radiography without excessive neutron scattering. The north beam connects to a shielded radiography cell capable of accepting a shielded cask directly. This allows for larger radiography specimens to be brought to HFEF, lowered directly from the cask into the neutron beam for radiography, and then returned to the cask without having to be transferred into the HFEF main cell.



  • Maximum specimen length: 152 in

  • Maximum specimen diameter: 6.5 in (round) or 4.5 X 8.5 in (rectangular)

  • Specimen weight: 600 lb

Instrument sample preparation area; Shielded optical microscopyInstrument Scientist vacuum testing chambersInstrument Scientist testingInstrument Scientist propertiesInstrument Scientist gross and isotopic gamma scanning; Instron remote load frameInstrument Scientist gas measurement and analysisInstrument Scientist accident condition simulator furnaceInstrument Scientist extrusion; Metallic fuel line; Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative glovebox; Glovebox advance casting system furnace; Metallic fuel line; Metallic fuel lineGroup Lead handling; Inert-radiological gloveboxes; Uranium handlingDepartment Manager repackaging glovebox; Transuranic breakout gloveboxNuclear Facility Manager gamma irradiatorInstrument Scientist surveillance glovebox line; Cell areaNuclear Facility Manager Quanta 3D FEG dual-beam SEM FIBInstrument Scientist JSM-7000f SEM; Gatan precision etching and coating system; Gatan precision ion polishing systems II; Gatan precision ion polishing systemsInstrument Scientist JEM 2010 STEMInstrument Scientist Cameca SX100R EPMAInstrument Scientist FEI QUANTA 3D FEGInstrument Scientist Titan ChemiSTEM FEG-STEMInstrument Scientist FEI Helios dual-beam SEM-plasma FIBInstrument Scientist diffraction; Micro X-ray diffractometerInstrument Scientist Di LemmaJEOL JSM-7000f SEMInstrument Scientist coupled plasma-mass spectrometerInstrument Scientist coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometer; Thermal Ionization Mass SpectrometerInstrument Scientist coupled plasma-mass spectrometerInstrument Scientist advance casting system furnace; Hot uniaxial press furnaceInstrument Scientist mass spectrometer; ELTRA CS-800; ELTRA ONH-2000Instrument Scientist furnace; Differential scanning calorimeter; Simultaneous thermal analyzer; Pushrod dilatometer; Laser flash analyzerInstrument Scientist Separator LaboratoriesInstrument Scientist X-ray diffractometer; X-ray diffraction; Hot uniaxial press furnaceInstrument Scientist Scientist Cycle GloveboxInstrument Scientist uranium casting furnace; Cathode processorProcess Engineer molten salt electrorefinerInstrument Scientist hoodsNuclear Facility Manager kW TRIGA Neutron Radiography ReactorInstrument Engineer additive manufacturingGroup Lead experiment assembly equipmentFuel Development Engineer kW TRIGA Neutron Radiography ReactorInstrument Engineer kW TRIGA Neutron Radiography ReactorInstrument Engineer nuclear materials gloveboxNuclear Research Facility Engineer