Lab Partnering Service Discovery
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TREAT is an air-cooled, thermal-spectrum test facility specifically designed to evaluate the response of reactor fuels and structural materials to accident conditions. The reactor was originally constructed to test fast-reactor fuels, but its flexible design has also enabled its use for testing of light-water-reactor fuels as well as other exotic special-purpose fuels, such as space reactors. TREAT has an open-core design that allows for ease of experiment instrumentation and real-time imaging of fuel motion during irradiation, which also makes TREAT an ideal platform for understanding the irradiation response of materials and fuels on a fundamental level.
TREAT was placed on standby in 1994. Operations were resumed in 2018. TREAT will provides a valuable capability to support efforts to develop accident-tolerant fuels for light-water reactors as well as the advanced reactor fuels, both of which will allow nuclear power to remain the primary source of emission-free baseload energy in the future.
As a result of this mission, AL receives a wide variety of samples from across INL, as well as from other outside entities. Sample types include liquids, solids, and irradiated/unirradiated fuel related to activities such as research and development, material accountability, radiation monitoring, process monitoring, and environmental monitoring. Engineering development activities, such as the preparation of samples for irradiation testing, are also supported by the AL.
EDL occupies most of Building 772 at the Materials and Fuels Complex (MFC). Two rooms within the building are used by the MFC Quality Assurance organization for nondestructive examinations, e.g., radiography and film processing. Two mezzanines, which constitute the second floor, can be moved to accommodate tall equipment (30-foot floor-to-crane hook). The facility includes equipment and gloveboxes for welding, including an electron-beam welder; furnaces for bake-out of graphite components; forming equipment for heat source hardware; and various machine tools.
- A full-scale, fully-integrated Process Development Unit. The feedstock preprocessing plant's modular design allows industry partners to customize process flow and insert third-party equipment to pilot a wide range of biomass preprocessing options.
- An organized, secure Biomass Feedstock Library. This resource of information about the physical, chemical and conversion performance characteristics of biomass is designed to help overcome challenges posed by biomass variability.
- A Biomass Characterization Laboratory to help pinpoint important biomass variables, such as particle size, composition and flowability. Researchers understand connections between material properties, processing conditions and feedstock quality.