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NRL Researchers to Benchmark Restart of TREAT

The MIT Nuclear Reactor Lab’s Lin-wen Hu, David Carpenter, and Kaichao Sun are part of the team led by Oregon State University to work on “Computational and Experimental Benchmarking for Transient Fuel Testing”. Researchers will perform a benchmark of the Idaho National Laboratory’s Transient Reactor Test Facility (TREAT). TREAT is an air-cooled, graphite-moderated, thermal-spectrum test reactor which previously operated from 1959 until 1994. The TREAT was built to conduct transient reactor tests where materials are subjected to neutron pulses that can simulate conditions ranging from mild transients to severe reactor accidents. In 2014 The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) decided to restart the TREAT facility in order to resume a program of transient testing. One of the planned uses for TREAT is to test new accident tolerant fuels for nuclear reactors. The MIT team will benchmark two steady state neutronic problems and two transient problems. Their work will include the design, construction and utilization of a full-scale representation of an in-pile flow loop prototype for TREAT, and numerical benchmarking against the experimental data gained from the experiment.

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