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ORNL operates two of the world's most powerful neutron scattering user facilities: the Spallation Neutron Source and the High Flux Isotope Reactor. The pulsed neutron source at SNS and the continuous neutron source at HFIR complement each other well and, along with their state-of-the-art instruments, provide a wider range of research possibilities than ever before.

Neutron scattering research can reveal the structure and dynamics of a very wide range of materials. This diverse range of applications provides opportunities for experts in practically every scientific and technical field, and the HFIR and SNS instruments are developed with that broad range of disciplines in mind. Instruments are available to researchers with varying degrees of experience, from new graduate students and first-time neutron users to experienced users with an interest in instrument design. Beam time is made available based on the scientific merit of the proposals submitted (see the users home page for more information). More about instrumentation at SNS and HFIR

High Flux Isotope Reactor

HFIR 2011 aerial

Aerial view of the HFIR complex, located on the south side of the main ORNL campus. (larger image)

At 85 megawatts, HFIR is the highest flux reactor-based source of neutrons for condensed matter research in the United States, and it provides one of the highest steady-state neutron fluxes of any research reactor in the world. The thermal and cold neutrons, intense neutron flux, constant power density, and constant-length fuel cycles are used by more than 200 researchers each year for neutron scattering research into the fundamental properties of condensed matter. HFIR has 10 instruments available for users and 1 in commissioning.

In addition to its neutron scattering capabilities, HFIR is used for production of medical, industrial, and research isotopes; research on severe neutron damage to materials; and neutron activation to examine trace elements in the environment.

Spallation Neutron Source

SNS site, looking east

Aerial view of the east end of the SNS site. The curved Central Laboratory and Office Building is on the right, with the Experiment Hall behind it on the left. (larger image)

SNS is an accelerator-based neutron source that provides the most intense pulsed neutron beams in the world for scientific and industrial research and development. The capabilities of SNS allow for measurements of greater sensitivity, higher speed, higher resolution, or in more complex sample environments than have been possible at existing neutron facilities. The facility has 13 world-class instruments available for users, with another 9 being planned, under construction, or in commissioning.

Joint Institute for Neutron Sciences

Located on the SNS site, the Joint Institute for Neutron Sciences (JINS) serves as an intellectual hub for the neutron science community and supports research at SNS and HFIR. More

Other ORNL Resources of Interest

Other ORNL Facilities of Interest Research capabilities at HFIR and SNS are enhanced by the ready availability of other ORNL facilities, making it easier for users to access the support and capabilities they need to produce the best science possible: