Gamma Irradiation

NSUF offers access to gamma irradiation facilities to users whose proposals are awarded access. Each of these reactors offer unique capabilities for researchers to explore basic and applied nuclear research. 


Idaho National Laboratory

Located in INL's Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) canal, the INL ATR Gamma Facility is a stainless steel dry tube projecting from the spent fuel rack to the top of the ATR canal. The 21-foot tube has a useable inner diameter of 12.7 cm (5 inches) and a useable length of 6 m (19 feet - 8 inches). Spent ATR fuel elements are placed in the fuel grid around the tube to generate radiation dose rate from approximately 25 kGy/hr up to 50 kGy/hr at fuel centerline depending on the decay of the spent fuel. This dry tube has a removable shielded plug at the top and is sealed at the bottom. Samples to be irradiated (weight limits apply) are simply lowered into the tube from the top to a position to achieve the requested dose.

Technical Point of Contact: Leigh Ann Astle ([email protected] or 208-526-1154)


INL's Gamma Irradiator Test Loop located in the Fuels and Applied Science Building (FASB), expands gamma irradiator capability by introducing the option of "in-motion" type irradiation experiments. The Gamma Irradiator Test Loop assists researchers in studying the effects of radiation on the structural integrity of solid and liquid materials. The instrument delivers a radiation dose from Co-60 source (~4 kGy/hr as of Aug. 2017). Two experimental options currently are available: (1) static, where sealed vials containing non-rad or rad materials are irradiated, and (2) dynamic, where analyte liquids are irradiated while being continuously circulated through a test loop located inside the irradiator. 

INL's Gammacell 220, also located at the FASB, is a Cobalt 60 irradiation facility manufactured by Atomic Energy of Canada Limited for use in an unshielded room. The unit consists of an annular source permanently enclosed within a lead shield, a cylindrical drawer, and a drive mechanism to move the drawer up or down along the source centre-line. The drawer has a chamber to carry samples to be irradiated from outside the shield to the source. Samples up to approximately six inches in diameter and eight inches in height can be accommodated in the chamber. Liquid, gaseous, electrical or mechanical connections can be introduced into the sample chamber through an access tube in the upper portion of the drawer. An electrically powered digital timer automatically raises the drawer at the termination of a sample irradiation. Times may be preset to a maximum of 999.9 hours. 

Technical Point of Contact: Mike Heighes ([email protected] or 208-526-1785)


INL's Energy Innovation Laboratory Irradiation Suite houses houses a brand new Foss Therapy Services Model-812 Cobalt-60 gamma irradiator, expanding our capacity and design flexibility for gamma irradiation experiments. As a planar irradiation field unit, a large range of un-attenuated dose rates can be worked with, ranging from >6 Gy s−1 to <0.03 Gy s−1. These activities are supported by an extensive array of analytical techniques and instruments, for example in-line gas chromatography equipped with TCD and FID detectors, and ultrahigh pressure liquid chromatography with quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometer detectors with electrospray, atmospheric pressure chemical ionization, and atmospheric pressure photoionization sources. 

Technical Point of Contact: Gregory Holmbeck ([email protected] or 208-526-5391)

Oak Ridge National Laboratory 

Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Gamma Irradiation Facility (HFIR-GIF) provides researchers with the capabilities to understand material behaviors in a radiation environment and qualify materials and components for the nuclear industry. Samples can be subjected to gamma fluxes up to 1E+8Rad/h. Samples are placed in a 3.75-in diameter x 25-inch long canister in the flux trap of a spent fuel element. Sweep gases provide cooling and an inert environment, and electrical connections allow data acquisition and power to the samples. 

Technical Point of Contact: Kory Linton ([email protected] or 865-228-3193)


Sandia National Laboratories 

Sandia National Laboratories' Gamma Irradiation Facility (GIF) produces a wide range of gamma radiation environments using Co-60 sources. The GIF is capable of irradiating objects as small as bacteria and as large as an Abrams M1 tank (although SNL typically irradiate electronic components, equipment and samples of various materials). The GIF provides in-cell dry irradiations in test cells and in-pool submerged irradiations in the pool. The GIF has three concrete dry test cells: two cells are 3 m × 3 m, one cell is 5.5 m × 9.1 m, and an 18-foot deep pool. The facility offers gamma dose rates from 10-3 rad/s to over 1000 rad/s. 

Technical Point of Contact: Don Hanson ([email protected])