NPL instruments at the research reactor LVR-15

The research reactor LVR-15 is a medium power light water research reactor operated by the Research Centre Řež. It is a medium power water reactor providing moderate flux of thermal neutrons at nine horizontal radial channes and vertical irradiation channels. NPL uses this facility as a source of neutrons for neutron scattering experiments and nuclear analytical methods. Five neutron scattering instruments are installed at four horizontal thermal neutron channels (HK4 HK6, HK8 and HK9) and serve primarily to resarch in the fields of material science and solid state physics. In addition, one horizontal channel (HK3) hosts special beamline for neutron depth profiling and prompt gamma activation analyses.

Sub-categories : HK3 , HK4 , MEREDIT , NOD , MAUD , HK9 , NAA

HK3 - Thermal neutron analytical methods

Three instruments HC3-a HC3-b and HC3-c operate at the thermal neutron beam formed by short neutron guide tube. The neutron guide ensures an efficient transport of thermal neutrons from a Ć 100 mm horizontal channel of the reactor to small target areas of the HC3-a, HC3-b and HC3-c spectrometers. The neutron guide is built of a mirror type tube of rectangular cross-section, cylindrically bent in the vertical direction. It consists of 15 mirror sections made of glass plates of float type. The surface of these plates is coated with Ni reflecting layer with thickness of 2000 Ă. The internal cross-section of each mirror section is 4×150 mm2. The overall length of the guide is 5.63 m, the curvature radius being 825 m. In order to suppress a background due to a direct beam of gamma rays and fast neutrons, the guide is tightly surrounded by a combined shielding consisting of lead and polyethylene pellets. Unlike thermal neutrons, gamma rays and fast neutrons are not subject to reflections from the Ni coating and penetrate the guide walls. In the shielding around they are scattered and absorbed and only collimated thermal neutrons pass through. In addition, a biological shielding, formed by boron-doped polyethylene and lead bricks, is built along the whole guide. The shape of the incoming neutron beam at the entrance of the guide matches the cross-section of the guide. This has been achieved using a 90 cm long collimator made of lead with a rectangular aperture. Immediately behind the guide exit, the neutron beam is tailored by an additional collimator made of 6Li2CO3 to reduce the beam cross-section to 4×60 mm2. The flux of thermal neutrons at the guide exit averaged over the beam cross-section is (1.5±0.2)·107n cm-2 s-1. The cadmium ratio is equal approximately to 105. The above mentioned fluxes refer to the reactor power of 8 MW. Beyond the guide exit, the vertical divergence of neutron trajectories is characterized by angular deviations below 0.5°.


HK4 - Strain scanner

The two-axis diffractometer SPN-100 is a 2-axis neutron diffractometer usually used for mapping of residual strains inside polycrystalline materials.Typical examples are residual strains developed in the course of welding or strains accumulated during processing and/or usage of engineering components.


MEREDIT - Neutron Powder Diffractometer

MEREDITThe neutron powder diffractometer MEREDIT (MEdium REsolution neutron powder DIffracTometer) was made operational for scientists at the end of the year 2008. It is placed on the horizontal channel number 6 in the reactor hall of LWR15 (light water reactor) in Řež near Prague.

This instrument is mainly dedicated to the study of the crystalline and/or magnetic structure of the powder or polycrystalline samples. Due to the several sample environments including vacuum and light furnace, close cycle cryostat, Euler goniometer, deformation rig and automatic sample exchanger is this instrument an universal tool for researchers whose want to use advantages of neutron powder diffraction.

Old version of the web pages is still available here.


NOD - Neutron Optics Diffractometer

The Neutron Optics Diffractometer is a testing beamline installed on the common primary beam shared with the SANS diffractometer MAUD. Experimental investigations at this instrument are focused at experimental studies and tests of new Bragg diffraction optics designs and their properties. Recent examples are the tests of dispersive double crystal settings providing high and ultra-high angular and/or energy resolution and of ultra-high resolution dispersive monochromators based on multiple reflections excited in elastically deformed perfect crystals. The high-resolution monochromatic neutron beams also opened new possibilities of applications for an alternative radiography technique, for the so called phase contrast radiography.


MAUD - SANS Diffractometer

High-resolution SANS diffractometer is one of two experimental facilities operated at the neutron channel HK8. The double-bent-crystal SANS diffractometer MAUD is designed for the measurements of neutron small-angle scattering in the high Q-resolution mode. In contrast to the conventional double-crystal arrangements, the fully asymmetric diffraction geometry on the elastically bent Si analyzer is employed inorder to transfer the angular distribution of the scattered neutrons to the spatial distribution. It enables then to analyze the whole scattering curve by a one-dimensional position sensitive detector.

The instrument is mainly suited to investigation of structural or compositional inhomogeneities in materials in the size range 0.05÷2 micrometer, mainly porous materials and large precipitates in alloys.


High-Resolution Stress/Strain Diffractometer (TKSN-400)

TKSN 400 is a high resolution two-axis diffractometer optimized for investigation of internal stresses in polycrystalline materials. Due to its equipment, the instrument is dedicated especially for thermo-mechanical testing of materials, i.e. to study the deformation and transformation mechanisms of modern types of newly developed materials. Neutron diffraction performed in situ upon external loads, brings a wide range of valuable structural and sub-structural parameters of the studied material which is easy to correlate with parameters of external loads.


Neutron activation analysis

NAA is a primary method of measurement for quantitative multi-elemental analysis. Using irradiation in the LVR-15 reactor, where neutron fluence rates of up to 5·1013 cm-1 s-1 are available in vertical channels, detection limits range from μg kg-1 up to tens of percent, depending on the particular element and bulk matrix composition. For more information, see NAA at CANAM.


Page 2 of 2