HFIR Beryllium Reflector Replacement

HBRR High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) provides one of the highest steady-state neutron fluxes of any research reactor in the world. The thermal and cold neutrons produced by HFIR are used for research into the fundamental properties of condensed matter, enabling researchers to make scientific discoveries and address some of the biggest challenges facing society today.

ORNL is planning to replace HFIR’s permanent beryllium reflector, along with other key reactor core components, to sustain and enhance HFIR’s operational performance. See the 5-year planning schedule for up-to-date projections.

The beryllium reflector helps drive neutron production by reflecting stray neutrons back into the core as they are generated. After more than 20 years of successful operation, the reflector is approaching the end of its lifetime and will need to be replaced.

The HFIR Beryllium Reflector Replacement project will feature:

  • A new design for the beryllium reflector and beam tubes, which will optimize isotope production and irradiation experiments while sustaining HFIR’s world-leading neutron scattering instrument performance.
  • A redesigned cold guide network, used for transporting neutron beams to instruments, that will capitalize on technological improvements in neutron optics designs and materials.
  • Opportunistic repairs and improvements to the supporting infrastructure, such as utilities and shielding, in both the beam room and cold guide hall.
  • Opportunistic upgrades to the instrument suite in both the beam room and the cold guide hall, including reconfiguration and optimization to improve performance and develop new capabilities.