Nuclear Reactor

The Maryland University Training Reactor (MUTR) 250 kW conversion TRIGA reactor that achieved criticality in 1974. The reactor was installed as an upgrade from a 10 kW HEU Materials Testing Reactor built in 1960. The NRC license number is R-070 (Docket# 50-166). It is a major facility that supports teaching, research, and service for researchers at University of Maryland as well as numerous outside collaborators.

Reactor Description

The MUTR is an open pool reactor with a maximum licensed, steady state thermal power of 250 kW. The fuel is TRIGA-type stainless-steel-clad cylindrical fuel elements with Uranium-Zirconium Hydride (UZrH) fuel-moderator. This fuel type has excellent safety characteristics and is widely used in dozens of reactors around the world. The MUTR core sits in a 21 foot deep pool of light water for cooling, moderation, and biological shielding. Reactor power is monitored through three in-core neutron detectors: a fission chamber, a compensated ion chamber (CIC) and an uncompensated ion chamber.

The reactor contains five experimental ports. The graphite filled thermal column provides an ex-core beam of thermal neutrons for experiments. Large samples, up to approximately 13.3 cm in diameter, can be placed adjacent to the core in either the beam tubes (two) or the through tube. The beam and through tubes can also provide ex-core gamma and neutron beams. Thermal flux levels in the through tube are 1.60 x 109 n/cm2/sec coupled with a gamma dose rate of 2.1 rad/sec/kW. Finally, in-core irradiations of small samples (max. size of approx. 2.5 cm diameter by 5 cm length) can be performed using the pneumatic transfer system (Rabbit). This system is capable of providing thermal flux levels of 2 x 1012 n/cm2/sec coupled with a gamma dose rate of 2.1 rad/sec/kW. Irradiation of samples in the pool near the core are also possible.