The RINSC has multiple methods for irradiating samples for Neutron Activation Analysis. Small samples can be put in “rabbits” and transported directly to the core using our 2 pneumatic rabbit systems. For larger samples the sample can be loaded into a basket and placed directly adjacent to the core before the reactor is started. Even larger samples can be placed inside our thermal neutron room located on the reactor floor.
For analysis of activated samples the RINSC has two Germanium-Lithium (GeLi) and 6 High-Purity-Germanium (HPG) gamma-spectroscopy detectors available. The detectors are used to identify and quantify radioactive isotopes present in solid, liquid, or gaseous samples.
Two of the reactor's 6 beam ports are occupied by neutron diffraction instruments. Each beamport has changeable monochromators and a thermal neutron flux at the sample area of 1.0-4.0 x 105 n ⁄ cm 2 ⁄ s.
The powder-diffractometer is used primarily for undergraduate instruction. It employs a mica monochromator and a custom collimator. The powder diffractometer has an angular resolution better than 1 arc min. The instrument is controlled by a local computer running software developed in house.
The other diffraction instrument is a Small Angle Neutron Scattering (SANS) instrument. It employs a 2-dimensional position sensitive gas (3He) detector. This allows users to see a 2 dimensional histogram of the diffraction pattern. The detector and its shielding can be moved allowing a wide range of angles and orientations to be achieved. It is controlled using software developed at Oak Ridge National Lab's
Spallation Neutron Source. Data analysis software was
developed in house and is available to researchers by request.
In addition to the reactor, the RINSC has an instrument calibration range that is equipped with a 40 Ci Cs-137 source, as well as a variety of smaller radiation sources. These sources are not only useful for instrument calibrations, but also for low level gamma irradiation of samples.