Applications of Research Reactors
Advanced Materials Research
A research reactor provides a source of neutrons for basic or applied neutron beam research. This research helps scientists and engineers better understand the structure of materials, and leads to the development of advanced materials for new and improved consumer and industrial products.
Radioisotopes for Medicine, Industry and Agriculture
Research reactors provide a source for radioisotopes, which are used for medical diagnosis and therapy, and industrial and agricultural applications.
Industrial and Commercial Services
Research reactors can provide neutrons for key inspection, analysis and problem-solving services for industry and business. These include:
- neutron beam analysis to provide unique information on the structure of materials
- neutron radiography to provide non-destructive inspection of components and materials, such as aircraft turbine blades and aerospace components
- neutron activation analysis to provide, for example, an assaying capability for minerals or a forensic analysis tool.
Nuclear Power Industry Support
A research reactor can be used to test power reactor fuel, components, materials and coolants, as well as to provide training for a nuclear power plant.
Teaching and Training
A research reactor provides an ongoing national training facility.