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Research Reactors Division


The Research Reactors Division is responsible for operation of the High Flux Isotope Reactor. Operating at 85 MW, HFIR is the highest flux reactor-based source of neutrons for research in the United States, and it provides one of the highest steady-state neutron fluxes of any research reactor in the world. The thermal and cold neutrons produced by HFIR are used to study physics, chemistry, materials science, engineering, and biology. The intense neutron flux, constant power density, and constant-length fuel cycles are used by almost 500 researchers each year for neutron scattering research into the fundamental properties of condensed matter.

The neutron scattering research facilities at HFIR contain a world-class collection of 15 instruments, planned or in operation, that are used for fundamental and applied research on the structure and dynamics of matter. The reactor is also used for medical, industrial, and research isotope production; research on severe neutron damage to materials; and neutron activation to examine trace elements in the environment. Additionally, the building houses a gamma irradiation facility that uses spent fuel assemblies and is capable of accommodating high-gamma-dose experiments.

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