High Flux Isotope Reactor Core Analysis

September, 2016
Cold Source Moderator Vessel

Examining a mockup of the HFIR cold source moderator vessel. 


A concerted effort over the past few years has focused on enhancing the core depletion models for the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) as part of a comprehensive study for designing a HFIR core that would use low-enriched uranium (LEU) fuel. A HFIR core depletion model that is based on current state-of-the-art methods and nuclear data was needed for use as a reference for the design of an LEU fuel for HFIR and to improve the basis for analyses that support HFIR’s current operation with high-enriched uranium (HEU) fuel. The developed high-fidelity computational models are used to perform parametric studies, optimization, and assessments for HEU and various LEU configurations. 

HFIR model, X-Y view at midplane. (hi-res image)


Support the design of a compatible HFIR LEU fuel that can be fabricated and meet performance and safety requirements. Provide a robust and reliable basis for depletion analysis of any HFIR core and design and analysis of experiments in HFIR.


National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Office of Material Management and Minimization (M3).

Principal Investigator

Germina Ilas

A full-size replica of the HFIR core (flux trap target zone and fuel elements) (hi-res image)