Post-Irradiation Examination

The NSUF offers researchers access to a broad range of post-irradiation examination facilities. 

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Argonne National Laboratory

ANL's Intermediate Voltage Electron Microscopy (IVEM)-Tandem Facility is unique in its ability to image the changes in atomic structure and defect formation during irradiation at high magnification. IVEM interfaces with an ion beamline incident from above at 30° to the electron beam, allowing in situ irradiations during observation under controlled sample and diffracting conditions. IVEM has a Hitachi-9000 TEM that has a point resolution of .25 nm at 300 keV. 

Technical Point of Contact: Meimei Li (mli@anl.gov or 630-252-5111)

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Belgian Center for Nuclear Research (SCK/CEN)

The laboratory for high and medium activity (LHMA) consists of a number of facilities, capable of handling hazardous materials, especially radioactive and/or toxic materials. These facilities are located in a controlled area, with monitoring of in- and outgoing staff and materials, as well as a controlled ventilation (in depression with respect to the outside environment) of the LHMA building to prevent release of hazardous materials in the environment.

Technical Point of Contact: Steven Van Dyck (svdyck@sckcen.be or 32 1433 2400)

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Idaho National Laboratory

Hot Fuel Examination Facility (HFEF) is a large alpha-gamma hot cell facility dedicated to remote examination of highly irradiated fuel and structural materials. Its capabilities include nondestructive and destructive examinations. The facility also offers a 250 kWth Training Research Isotope General Atomics (TRIGA) reactor used for neutron radiography to examine internal features of fuel elements and assemblies.

Technical Point of Contact: Collin Knight (collin.knight@inl.gov or 208-533-7707)

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The Analytical Laboratory (AL) is dedicated to analytical chemistry of irradiated and radioactive materials. The AL is capable of analysis and characterization of as-built and post-irradiated nuclear fuels and reactor components, analysis of hazardous, mixed, or highly radioactive wastes, analytical chemistry support for nuclear forensics, determinations of inorganic isotopic constituents and radionuclides, radioisotope separation, characterization of engineered materials, expertise in characterization of engineered materials and the nuclear fuel life cycle​

It offers National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST)-traceable chemical and isotopic analysis of irradiated fuel and material via a wide range of spectrometric techniques.

Technical Point of Contact: Collin Knight (collin.knight@inl.gov or 208-533-7707)

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The Electron Microscopy Laboratory (EML) is dedicated to materials characterization, primarily using transmission electron, scanning electron and optical microscopy. TEML includes the following capabilities: scanning electron microscopy (SEM) with microchemical analysis and grain-orientation imaging, dual-beam focused ion beam (FIB) with microchemical analysis and orientation imaging, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) with microchemical analysis, optical microscopy, microhardness testing, precision ion polishing and coating systems, andsample preparation of irradiated metals, ceramics, and small quantities of irradiated fuel for examination in gloveboxes and chemical hoods

Technical Point of Contact: Collin Knight (collin.knight@inl.gov or 208-533-7707)

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The Irradiated Materials Characterization Laboratory (IMCL) is a Hazard Category 2 nuclear facility that focuses on microstructural, thermal, and mechanical characterization of irradiated nuclear fuels and materials. IMCL's unique design incorporates advanced characterization instruments that are sensitive to vibration, temperature, and electromagnetic interference into modular radiological shielding and confinement systems. The shielded instruments allow characterization of highly radioactive fuels and materials at the micro, nano, and atomic levels, the scale at which irradiation damage processes occur. IMCL has several instruments including a micro X-ray diffractometer, X-ray diffraction, shielded sample preparation area, shielded Cameca SX100R EPMA, shielded FEI, UANTA 3D FEG, FEI Titan ChemiSTEM FEG-STEM, shielded FEI Helios dual-beam SEM-plasma FIB, and shielded optical microscopy.

Technical Point of Contact: Collin Knight (collin.knight@inl.gov or 208-533-7707)

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The Irradiation Assisted Stress Corrosion Cracking (IASCC) Facility at the Fuels and Applied Sciences Building (FASB) test cell houses two autoclaves outfitted with Instron, servohydraulic actuators and capable of simulating Boiling Water Reactor (BWR) Normal and Hydrogen water chemistries as well as Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) environments using a closed loop, recirculating chemistry control system, and an autoclave to enclose test specimens within the environment. 

Technical Point of Contact: Mike Heighes (michael.heighes@inl.gov or 208-526-1785)

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Center for Advanced Energy Studies

The Microscopy and Characterization Suite (MaCS) is equipped to handle low-level radiological samples as well as nonradiological samples. MaCS offers several high-end pieces of equipment, including a Local Electrode Atom Probe (LEAP), Spark Plasma Sintering System, Automated Hardness Tester, Scanning Electron Microscope, Nano Indenter Atomic Force Microscope, Transmission Electron Microscope, and Focused Ion Beam.

Technical Point of Contact: Yaqiao Wu (YaqiaoWu@boisestate.edu or 208-533-8112)

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Los Alamos National Laboratory

The Chemical and Metallurgical Research Facility (Wing 9) consist of four shielded cells for mechanical testing (including tension, compression, bend bar, ring pull and harness testing); machining/cutting/polishing; sample handling and storage; cleaning; and shipping and receiving.

Technical Point of Contact: Tarik Saleh (tsaleh@lanl.gov or 505-665-1670)

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The Plutonium Surface Science Laboratory provides capabilities in scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy, infrared reflection-absorption spectroscopy, secondary ion mass spectroscopy, x-ray and ultraviolet photoemission spectroscapies, profilometer, and gas chromatograph mass spectroscopy. 

Technical Point of Contact: Tarik Saleh (tsaleh@lanl.gov or 505-665-1670)

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Oak Ridge National Laboratory

The Irradiated Materials Examination and Testing (IMET) facility is used for disassembly of HFIR irradiation experiments and for the mechanical testing of specimens with high levels of radioactivity.  It includes the Specimen Prep Lab (SPL) with its associated laboratory hood and glove boxes, an Operating Area, where the control and monitoring instruments supporting the in-cell test equipment are staged, a utility corridor, a hot equipment storage area, a tank vault room, office space, a trucking area with access to the high bay, and an outside steel building for storage. The tests and examinations are conducted in six examination “hot” cells and/or in a laboratory hood or modified glove boxes in the SPL. 

Technical Point of Contact: Kory Linton (lintonkd@ornl.gov or 865-228-3193)

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The Low Activation Materials Development and Analysis (LAMDA) facility is dedicated to the characterization of radiological materials through thermophysical, mechanical and microstructural analysis utilizing a modern suite of instruments. LAMDA allows for  the examination of low activity radiological samples (< 100 mR/hr at 30 cm) without the need for remote manipulation. LAMDA typically utilizes small, compact samples to allow researchers to leverage cutting-edge characterization and test equipment to study materials phenomenon not possible at a hot cell facility. The LAMDA facility is maintained as a low alpha contamination facility, but certain equipment is available for fuel-related studies. 

Technical Point of Contact: Kory Linton (lintonkd@ornl.gov or 865-228-3193)

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The Irradiated Fuels Examination Laboratory (IFEL) is a category 2 nuclear facility and has the following capabilities: Receipt and handling of irradiated materials (fuel or nonfuel in shielded casks), capsule disassembly, nondestructive and destructive testing of irradiated materials, full-length Light Water Reactor (LWR) fuel post-irradiation examination, repackaging of spent nuclear fuel, packaging and shipment of irradiated materials (on-site and off-site), examination and testing activities such as metrology, optical and electron microscopy, gamma spectrometry, safety testing of High Temperature Gas Reactor (HTGR) fuel, automated sorting and analysis of HTGR fuel parƟcles using gamma spectrometry, testing grid pinching and lateral constraint effects on spent nuclear fuel during transportation 

Technical Point of Contact: Kory Linton (lintonkd@ornl.gov or 865-228-3193)

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Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

The Radiochemical Processing Laboratory's (RPL) mission is to provide core capability in applied nuclear science & technology furthering innovative radiological material processes and solutions for environmental, nuclear energy and national security initiatives.  Capabilities include comprehensive nuclear counting instrumentation, radionuclide separations laboratories, analytical methods for determining high-concentration to trace-level analytes, wet chemistry methods, physical property measurements (such as rheology), spectroscopy (UV-Vis, IR, Raman, NMR), thermogravimetric and calorimetric analysis, microscopy (visible light, SEM, TEM, AFM), gas and thermal ionization mass spectrometry, and  surface science (Auger spectroscopy, EELS, XPS, SIMS). These capabilities are configured for use with radioactive material in fume-hood, glovebox, and shielded hot-cell environments.

Technical Point of Contact: Dave Senor (david.senor@pnnl.gov or 509-371-6936)

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At the Materials Science and Technology Laboratory (MSTL) researchers develop and test high-performance materials used in next-generation energy, construction, and transportation technologies and systems.

Technical Point of Contact: Dave Senor (david.senor@pnnl.gov or 509-371-6936)

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Purdue University

The Interaction of Materials with Particles and Components Testing (IMPACT) experimental facility has been designed to study in-situ dynamic heterogeneous surfaces at the nano-scale exposed to varied environments that modify surface and interface properties. The IMPACT facility includes ultrahigh vacuum chambers, inert gas ion sources, metal ion source, e-beam evaporator, dual anode X-ray source (Specs GmbH, Model XR50), EUV source (13.5 nm, Phoenix Model sem20), electron gun, faraday cups, hemispherical Electrostatic Analyzers (Specs, Omicron), quartz crystal microbalances, residual gas analyzers, EUV Photodiodes, effusion cell, Innova SPM

Technical Point of Contact: Ahmed Hassansein (ayman.hawari@ncsu.edu or 919-515-4598)

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University of California, Berkeley

The Nuclear Materials Laboratory provides several capabilities for examining irradiated material samples including a nano-indentation system for nano and microscale hardness testing at ambient and elevated temperature and inert environments, positron annihilation spectroscopy, and warm sample preparation (polishing, cutting, grinding and mounting). 

Technical Point of Contact: Peter Hosemann (peterh@berkeley.edu or 510-717-5752)

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University of Florida

The Nuclear Fuels and Materials Characterization Facility (NFMC) provides capabilities in microstructural characterization of materials-related research, with an emphasis on nuclear. The facility went into use in February 2018. The laboratory is dedicated to supporting radiological work. All instruments can be used for radioactive materials and fuels. FIB is equipped with an in-situ mechanical testing unit (Hysitron PI 87xR SEM PicoIndenter with 800C heating option) that is approved for radiological use. TEM is equipped with EDS, single tilt and double tilt holders.

Technical Point of Contact: Yong Yang (yongyang@ufl.edu or 352-846-3791) 

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University of Michigan

The Irradiated Materials Complex provides laboratories and hot cells with capabilities for conducting high-temperature mechanical properties experiments and corrosion and stress corrosion cracking experiments on neutron irradiated materials in an aqueous environment, including supercritical water, and for characterizing the fracture surfaces after failure. 

Technical Point of Contact: Gary Was (gsw@umich.edu or 734-763-4675)

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University of Wisconsin

The Characterization Laboratory for Irradiated Materials (CLIM) provides specialized sample preparation and characterization facilities for post-irradiation examination of irradiated radioactive materials and uranium fuels. The laboratory is equipped with negative-pressure boxes, fume hoods, and polishing equipment for sample preparation, and scanning electron microscope (SEM) for examination of radioactively hot samples.T

Technical Point of Contact: Adrien Couet (couet@wisc.edu or 608-265-7955)

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Westinghouse

The Churchill Laboratory Services (WCLS) Hot Cell Facility and accompanying laboratories to provide experimental support to ATR-related nuclear energy materials research programs. The Westinghouse facilities in Churchill, Pennsylvania, are housed in four cells that provide a broad range of testing, evaluation and characterization capabilities for both unirradiated and irradiated materials. In-place capabilities include the ability to test under a variety of environments, an extensive mechanical testing laboratory, a specialized corrosion and stress corrosion cracking lab, and materials microstructure and chemical characterization instruments. Specialized facilities are also available to measure the radioactivity properties of materials under investigation as well as neutron and gamma sources facilities, which can be employed to assess materials' response to in-situ radiation. 

Technical Point of Contact: Mike Ickes (ickesmr@westinghouse.com or 412-256-1085)

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