How to Work with HFIR

There are many prerequisites to irradiating experiments at the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR). This section describes the basic process of interfacing with ORNL and HFIR for an

irradiation in the reactor core. A detailed description of the review and approval process for HFIR in-vessel irradiations can be found in HFIR document EG-1, "Review and Approval Process for HFIR In-Vessel and Gamma Irradiation Experiments."

Basic Policies

It is the policy of the Research Reactors Division (RRD) to review and approve all in-vessel experiments. The RRD NM&EA Group will help the experimenter ensure that the experiment:

  • Poses no unacceptable risk to the safety of the reactor or personnel.
  • Poses no unreviewed safety question.
  • Is in compliance with applicable HFIR Technical Safety Requirements.
  • Does not adversely affect the predictability or availability of reactor operations.
  • Does not adversely affect key research programs that fund the reactor.

The scope of this policy is limited to the ORNL RRD review and approval processes that were established to ensure the safety, reliability, and compatibility of in-vessel irradiation experiments. This policy does not cover the processes for:

  • Obtaining U.S. Department of Energy approval when required.
  • Obtaining National Environmental Protection Act approval when required.
  • Ensuring compliance with waste generation regulations.
  • Disposition (cask loading/shipment) of the experiment components after irradiation.

Download the High Flux Isotope Reactor User Guide.

The RRD Experiment Analysis and Coordination group will assist in navigating these policies as required. The group lead and contact is Chris Bryan:, 865-241-4336