NRC approves restart of NIST test reactor

March 14, 2023, 12:00PMANS Nuclear Cafe

NIST's Center for Neutron Research in Gaithersburg, Md. (Photo: NRC)

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has authorized the restart of a test reactor at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, in Gaithersburg, Md. The reactor was shut down in February 2021 when a fuel element became damaged during startup and approach to full power. The incident violated the NRC’s fuel cladding temperature safety limit, although public health and safety were not affected, according to the agency.

The reactor is located at NIST’s Center for Neutron Research.