International experts review Idaho’s Neutron Radiography Reactor

Article from INL, released on October 9, 2023

Dr. Ayman Hawari, distinguished professor of nuclear engineering and director of the Nuclear Reactor Program at North Carolina State University served as one of the expert members of the review team.

In early June a group of experts from around the world gathered at Idaho National Laboratory to complete an Integrated Research Reactor Utilization Review on the Neutron Radiography Reactor (NRAD). This review of one of INL’s lesser-known reactors helps researchers and management support strategic planning for NRAD.

Neutron radiography is a technique used to study the internal structure and behavior of nuclear fuel materials. It involves using neutrons passing through a material to produce images of the fuel samples.

In traditional X-ray radiography, X-rays are beamed toward an object, and the amount that pass through is measured to create an image. However, X-rays that interact with electrons are not very effective in penetrating dense materials like metals and nuclear fuels. Neutrons, on the other hand, can penetrate deep into the material and interact with the atomic nuclei, providing valuable information about the fuel’s composition and behavior.

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