​​Materials and Fuels Complex - Fuels and Applied Science Building Irradiation Suite
The Fuels and Applied Science Building (FASB) irradiation suite houses the CR2’s workhorse, a MDS Nordion Gammacell 220 Excel cobalt-60 gamma irradiator. Offering un-attenuated dose rates of ≤1 Gy s−1, the Gammacell facilitates investigation into the effects of gamma rays on a wide range of materials and chemical systems, e.g., spent nuclear fuel solvent extraction media, high temperature molten salts, and a variety of commercial and bespoke metal alloys used in current and future nuclear reactor designs.

These activities are supported by a Cary 6000 UV-Vis-NIR spectrophotometry, a bank of centrifugal ​contactors (CINC V-02, USA), and compressed gas cylinders regulated by an array of Sierra Instruments mass flow controllers. In addition to catering for standard radiation chemistry experiments, two unique capabilities are offered:

​​​1. Irradiation of Sealed Radionuclide Solutions. One of the CR2’s niche research capabilities is the capacity to investigate the effects of ionizing radiation on solutions containing a wide range of radioactive elements, e.g., neptunium and americium. Understanding radiation-induced redox chemistry is critical for a complete fundamental understanding of the chemistry of radioactive elements, in addition to their speciation and mobility under environmental and industrial conditions.

2. Bespoke Radiolysis and Hydrolysis Test Loop. To support a global initiative into the development of advanced spent nuclear fuel reprocessing solvent system flowsheets, a bespoke test loop was designed and installed to evaluate the effects of gamma irradiation on the stability and performance of candidate solvent system formulations, under conditions more representative of industry, i.e., beyond the "benchtop." The U.S. test loop is made up of an irradiated volume contained in a borosilicate glass coil (∼75 feet in length, 0.375 inch outer diameter, 0.202 inch inner diameter), and an external stainless steel manifold, composed of a magnetic drive gear pump and a second stainless steel coil held in a temperature-controlled water bath to maintain loop solvent temperature. Although initially designed to validate the performance of new reprocessing schemes under extreme coupled conditions, the test loop is more than capable of accommodating other systems with potential for scale-up, for example Advanced Oxidation Process (AOP) water treatment procedures.​​​​

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A recently installed Foss Therapy Service Model 812 cobalt-60 gamma irradiator, boasting un-attenuated dose rates of ≤400 Gy min−1. With the implementation of lead shields, this irradiator facilitates dose rate studies on non-radioactive samples. Direct analytical support is provided by a new Cary 60 UV-Vis spectrophotometry and an SRI gas chromatogram.​

​The CR2  also has access to three NMR spectrometers: two high-field spectrometers for use on non-radioactive samples and one low-field spectrometer that is capable of handling radioactive samples as it resides at the RCL. IMG_20200727_131757_a.jpg

The two high-field spectrometers are Bruker Avance III consoles coupled to cryomagnets with field strengths of 9.4 and 14.1 T (ν_(_^1)H = 400 and 600 MHz, respectively) and reside in the Energy Innovations Laboratory (EIL). The 9.4 T system is currently configured for a 4 mm solid-state Magic-Angle Spinning (MAS, νmax = 15 kHz) probe, but can be configured with a 5 mm broadband solution-state probe if the need arises. The broadband channel on the solid-state probe can be tuned from 15N to 31P (40 – 161 MHz). The 14.1 T system is dedicated to a room-temperature 5 mm solution-state probe with a broadband channel capable of tuning from 109Ag to 19F in frequency (28 – 564 MHz). This probe also includes a z-gradient, so experiments requiring gradient pulses can be used (e.g., Diffusion Ordered SpectroscopY, or DOSY). Finally, this system also includes the ability to run variable-temperature experiments between -150 and +80 °C.

The low-field spectrometer in RCL is an Anasazi Eft-90 coupled to a 2.1 T electromagnet (ν_(_^1)H = 90 MHz). This instrument has a 5 mm solution-state broadband probe that can be tuned from 29Si to 19F (17 – 84 MHz). As part of the RCL, millimolar concentrations of radioactive metals are available for use in experiments. There are plans to update RCL NMR capabilities by acquiring a high-field 9.4 T cryomagnet and Bruker Neo console with variable-temperature capabilities. This instrument is currently on the INL Integrated Priority List and would significantly increase the resolution of experiments with active samples at RCL.​​