Research facilities

The Missouri S&T Nuclear Reactor isn't the only high quality facility used by students, faculty and staff in the nuclear engineering department to conduct research. The program also has the following laboratory facilities:

A dual-chambered internet-accessible heavily shielded facility with pneumatic access to the Missouri S&T 200 kW Research Nuclear Reactor (MSTR) allows authorized distance users to remotely manipulate and analyze neutron irradiated samples. The system consists of two shielded compartments, one for multiple sample storage, and the other dedicated exclusively for radiation measurements and spectroscopy. The second chamber has multiple detector ports, with graded shielding, and has the capability to support gamma spectroscopy using radiation detectors such as an HPGe detector. Both these chambers are connected through a rapid pneumatic system with access to the MSTR nuclear reactor core. The total transportation time between the core and the hot cell is less than 3.0 seconds.

This lab is equipped for measurement of alpha, beta and gamma particles with the help of various detectors such as Geiger-Mueller counters, NaI (Tl) scintillation detectors, HPGe Semiconductor detectors, Ortec Ultra charged particle detectors, and Ortec partially depleted silicon surface barrier detectors. Detection systems including pre-amplifiers, amplifiers, single channel analyzers, counters, timers, multi-channel analyzers are also included in the laboratory. The lab also contains neutron and X-ray measurement modules using He-3 isotropic detectors and ion chambers, respectively. All of the detectors in the lab are compatible with state-of-the-art software and Lynx digital data analysis systems, which allows remote web-based experimental capability. All of these things allow the lab tremendous potential for collaborative experiments and discoveries with local researchers and researchers around the world.

The facilities of the Materials Research Center, metallurgical engineering, and nuclear engineering programs are also available for nuclear materials-related research. These facilities include state of the art SEM/EDX, TEM, STEM, FIB/FESEM, and XRD.

Students have the opportunity to use large computer codes commonly used in the nuclear industry for reactor core design, radiation transport, and thermal hydraulics analysis. The nuclear engineering program maintains an excellent laboratory with personal computers with access to a campus cluster of numerically intensive computing (NIC) systems.

This lab is designed to perform both fundamental and advanced two-phase flow experiments simulating prototypic nuclear reactor conditions. The lab is equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation such as a micro multi-sensor conductivity probe, a high-speed digital motion-corder, various flow measurement devices, and a data acquisition system and software. Topics of research studied in the lab include advanced two-phase flow modeling, two-phase flow characterization in various flow channel geometries, air-water two-phase bubble jet experiment, secondary flow analysis in liquid film flow, and development of two-phase flow instrumentation.

This laboratory is designed to perform radiation imaging for medical or industrial purposes. Students have the opportunity to run Monte Carlo simulation codes for radiation imaging systems and experiment with digital x-ray radiography, x-ray computed tomography, neutron imaging, etc. The technologies developed in the lab can be applied to either medical imaging or non-destructive inspection of various materials or objects.

The neutron generator laboratory has a D-D neutron generator that produces approximately 109neutrons/sec. The neutron generator is available for both graduate and undergraduate research and education. Examples of research using the neutron generator are reactor kinetics research, the study of two-phase flow, research in nuclear forensics and radiochemistry, particle tracking in complex flows, and the photon-neutron tomography for mechanical testing of structural materials.