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Opportunity at National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

High-Flux Research Reactor Design Optimized for Cold Neutron Experimental Facilities


NIST Center for Neutron Research

RO# Location
50.61.01.C0353 Gaithersburg, MD

Please note: This Agency only participates in the February and August reviews.


Name E-mail Phone
Sahin, Dagistan 301.975.4611


High-Flux Research Reactor Design Optimized for Cold Neutron Experimental Facilities

The NBSR is a 20 MW research reactor operated since 1967 by the NIST Center for Neutron Research (NCNR) as a neutron source providing beams of thermal and cold neutrons for research in materials science, fundamental physics and nuclear chemistry.  The cold neutron facilities at NCNR have expanded steadily since the completion of the first guide hall in 1989, with about 70% of the research using cold neutrons.  Replacing the liquid hydrogen cold source with a liquid deuterium cold source in 2023 will boost the cold neutron flux delivered to scientific instruments by 50 %.  Afterward, the NCNR is afforded limited opportunities for improvements that alleviate over-subscription of instruments and that keep the NCNR at the forefront of neutron science.  Furthermore, the increasing need for Aging Reactor Maintenance (ARM) adds uncertainty about neutron source availability in the coming decades, which could negatively impact neutron science within the United States. 

For these reasons, the NCNR aims to develop a replacement reactor optimized for multiple cold neutron sources to illuminate 20 to 30 neutron guides.  A conceptual design of a compact reactor core will be the focus point of discussions regarding the initial suite of cold neutron scattering instruments and other capabilities needed to serve the user community for the next half century.  Due to the coupling of many aspects – core geometry, fuel-management scheme, cold sources, control elements, thermal-hydraulics, reactor safety, etc. – this project strives to create a virtual reactor environment that integrates reactor modeling codes and multi-physics simulation software for automatic evaluation of how changes affect all pertinent facets of performance.  The end goal is a mature reactor design that provides a safe, reliable and economical neutron source that is highly optimized for cold neutron science.    

nuclear reactor design, two phase flow, cold source, neutron transport, radiation detection and measurement


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral applicants


Base Stipend Travel Allotment Supplementation
$74,950.00 $3,000.00
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