Technology 18 Obtaining 3D fuel images The first post-irradiation examination (PIE) performed on experimental fuels is often nondestructive examination. The Neutron Radiography (NRAD) reactor is one of the lab’s most powerful tools for this task. Neutron radiographs allow researchers to see inside samples to identify features or flaws that may require further study. Now INL has taken those images to the next dimension. In collaboration with colleagues at Technical University of Munich, INL experts produced the lab’s first digital neutron tomography, constructing three-dimensional images from a series of 421 two-dimensional digital neutron radiographs of a nonradioactive test object. The achievement is an important step toward rapidly capturing 3D digital imagery of irradiated materials as a routine nondestructive examination technique at NRAD. Irradiating accident-tolerant fuel DOE is encouraging industry to develop nuclear fuels with enhanced accident tolerance, including concepts from teams led by Framatome, General Electric and Westinghouse. After more than three years of planning, design, engineering and fabrication work between the teams and INL, the Accident Tolerant Fuel-2 test train entered ATR in FY 2018 for irradiation. The experiment will test fuel concepts under conditions they would experience in a light water reactor. It is expected to generate fuel performance data that will be instrumental in qualifying these new fuels for future use in commercial power reactors. Converting research reactors Before a research reactor can be converted to use low-enriched uranium (LEU) rather than highly enriched uranium (HEU), the replacement fuel type must be selected, tested and qualified. To support fuel development for a European reactor conversion, the first of the European Mini Plate INNOVATION & DEPLOYMENT Aaron Craft, left, and Mike Ruddell work at the Neutron Radiography (NRAD) reactor at INL’s Materials & Fuels Complex.