Research Reactors Division

The Research Reactors Division (RRD) operates the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR).

At 85 MW, HFIR is the highest flux reactor-based source of neutrons for research in the United States and provides one of the highest steady-state neutron fluxes of any research reactor in the world. The thermal and cold neutrons produced by HFIR are used to study physics, chemistry, materials science, engineering, and biology.

HFIR’s intense neutron flux, constant power density, and constant-length fuel cycles are leveraged by nearly 500 researchers each year for neutron scattering research into the fundamental properties of condensed matter. HFIR’s 15 world-class neutron scattering instruments (planned or in operation) are used fundamental and applied research on the structure and dynamics of matter.

The reactor is also used for medical, industrial, and research isotope production; research on severe neutron damage to materials; and neutron activation to examine trace elements in the environment. Additionally, the building houses a gamma irradiation facility that uses spent fuel assemblies and can accommodate high-gamma-dose experiments.

Research Reactors Division Org Chart