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The division was organized to promote the advancement of knowledge of the use of particle accelerator technologies for nuclear and other applications. It focuses on production of neutrons and other particles, utilization of these particles for scientific or industrial purposes, such as the production or destruction of radionuclides significant to energy, medicine, defense or other endeavors, as well as imaging and diagnostics.
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What is involved in radiation protection at accelerator facilities?
Particle accelerators have evolved from exotic machines probing hadron interactions to understand the fundamentals of our world to widely used instruments in research and for medical and industrial use. For research purposes, high-power machines are employed, often producing secondary particle beams through primary beam interaction with a target material involving many meters of shielding. The charged beam interacts with the surrounding structures, producing both prompt radiation and secondary radiation from activated materials. After beam termination, some parts of the facility remain radioactive and potentially can become radiation hazards over time. Radiation protection for accelerator facilities involves a range of actions for operation within safe boundaries (an accelerator safety envelope). Each facility establishes fundamental safety principles, requirements, and measures to control radiation exposure to people and the release of radioactive material in the environment.
Holly Trellue, Chase Taylor, Erik Luther, Theresa Cutler, Aditya Shivprasad, J. Keith Jewell, Dasari V. Rao, Michael Davenport
Nuclear Technology | Volume 209 | Number 1 | January 2023 | Pages S123-S135
Technical Paper | doi.org/10.1080/00295450.2022.2043088
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
As microreactors evolve to become a more affordable and efficient worldwide energy source, the development of moderator material within the system to decrease the required mass of low-enriched uranium fuel is important. The use of low- instead of high-enriched uranium in small nuclear reactors stems from recent national policies associated with nonproliferation. New designs are being developed for a range of applications and nuclear space systems in particular. Using system geometries such as those described in this paper, the next step is to advance the technology readiness level of moderator material such as delta-yttrium hydride (YHx,x = 1.6–2.0) so that it can be qualified for use in a microreactor system. Although characterization of unirradiated material has been documented previously, to fully understand the performance of this material, behavior in relevant irradiation environments must occur. This paper describes the fabrication of yttrium hydride samples through innovative techniques and how these samples were tested in two relevant neutron environments. These two experiments include (1) a critical experiment performed at the National Criticality Experiments Research Center (NCERC) to evaluate reactivity changes in a neutron-critical environment and (2) irradiation in the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) to assess structural integrity/material form, thermophysical data, hydrogen permeability, and other features post irradiation. For this purpose, hundreds of samples were fabricated for the NCERC and ATR experiments and are described within this paper.