Max Carbon Radiation Science Center:
The Max Carbon Radiation Science Center promotes research and development of materials important to nuclear energy systems by providing neutron, proton, and heavy ion irradiations at the Nuclear Reactor Lab (UWNR) and the Ion Beam Lab (IBL). The post irradiation radiological material handling and examination facilities at the Characterization Laboratory for Irradiated Materials (CLIM) provide the tools necessary to support this important R&D work and to train future generations in the proper testing of radioactive materials.
The UWNR, a 1 MW-thermal nuclear reactor, is licensed to operate into 2031 having received a 20 year license renewal in March 2011. The Reactor is used to teach nuclear engineering classes and also provides irradiation services and other support for various research projects.
The Ion Beam Laboratory (IBL) at the University of Wisconsin, Madison houses a NEC 1.7 MV tandem accelerator. The accelerator is actively used for research aimed at advancing the science of radiation damage of materials including alloys, ceramics, and coatings. The accelerator is equipped with TORVIS and SNICS ion sources for enhanced capabilities and the samples temperature is monitored by thermocouples and IR camera. The system can presently accommodate two types of sample geometries: 3 mm TEM samples and bar samples; with irradiation area between 1.45 and 2.3 sq. cm. the facility is continually improved to meet the research needs of the scientific community involved in research on radiation damage of materials and other fundamental materials science research areas involving ion irradiation.
The CLIM provides specialized sample preparation and characterization facilities for post-irradiation examination of irradiated radioactive materials and uranium fuels. The laboratory is equipped with negative-pressure boxes, fume hoods, and polishing equipment for sample preparation, and scanning electron microscope (SEM) for examination of radioactively hot samples.