The Irradiated Material Testing Laboratory (IMTL) was established to provide a facility to conduct experimental research on neutron irradiated materials in aqueous environments. The IMTL consists of two refreshed autoclaves (Inconel & 316 Stainless Steel construction) that can be mounted in constant extension rate (CERT) or crack growth rate (CGR) configurations. This unique, literally one of a kind research facility is currently the only one in the world capable of conducting experiments on stress corrosion cracking (SCC) of neutron irradiated material in supercritical water.
Experiments can be done in a wide range of environments, including supercritical water, simulated BWR and PWR water, and gas environments. The lab also contains one direct current potential drop (DCPD) system for controlling the load on the specimens while conducting crack growth rate (CGR) experiments as well as a JOEL JSM-6480 Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and EDAX EDS SiLi detector for timely on site analysis of specimens.
The IMTL is uniquely situated next to a hot cell. This configuration allows us to disconnect the autoclave from its water loop, maneuver it into the hot cell, where the neutron irradiated specimens can be safely mounted in the autoclave. A shielding cover is installed and the assembly is maneuvered back to IMTL, connected to the system, and to conduct the experiment. If needed, we can also move the SEM in to the hot cell to conduct analysis.