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Proceedings Paper

MIRENE, A Mini-Nuclear Reactor For Neutronography�Data And Applications
Author(s): M. Houelle; J. M. Gerberon
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Paper Abstract

MIRENE is a MIni nuclear REactor for NEutronography. In the first part of this paper MIRENE is described and its characteristics are given. The core uses only 1 kg of enriched uranium in solution state. It works in a self-limited pulse mode. The neutron pulses are collimated in two beams which cross the concrete pro-tection walls surrounding the reactor. The main characteristics are : . peak power : 161 kW . exponential rise time : .87 sec . overall energy in a pulse : 2.9 MJ (6.8 x 1016 fissions) . axial beam : - exposure aera : 30 cm x 30 cm - useful fluence per pulse : thermal neutrons : 9 x 108 n/cm2 ; γ-rays : 22 rads (Cd ratio on gold detector : 2) . lateral beam : - exposure aera : 18 cm x 24 cm - useful fluence per pulse : thermal neutrons : 2.6 x 108 n/cm2 ; γ-rays : . 7 rad (Cd ratio : 9). In the second part of the paper, many applications of MIRENE in much different fields are indicated. The results we have obtained since MIRENE started to operate, in 1977, are shown : - In nuclear engineering :.testing of first neutron reactor fuel-pins .control of "neutrophage screens" used in transport and storage of nuclear-fuel materials to secure the criticity-safety .observation of irradiated-oxyde samples in order to determine the Equation of State of the fuel used in fast-neutron reactors .observation of UO2-H20 mixing conditions in the field of cri-ticity experiments - In engineering, MIRENE has a large field of applications, two examples are given : . the control of the sealing of an electric isolator . the visualization of the bonding layer between two high density metals - Finally we show an original application in agronomy which has given very good results : the observation of the in-situ-growth of a corn-root. All these results prove that MIRENE as well as similar reactors can bring about an important contribution as Non-Destructive-Testing stools in the most large field of applications. Their simplicity of design and working connected to their intrinsic safety enabled them to have a high competitive performance/cost ratio. Users can take advantage of the own performances of nuclear reactors in neutronography while being relieved of a large part of the constraints associated to large-size ordinary reactor installation.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 August 1983
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 0312, 1st European Conf on Cineradiography with Photons or Particles, (9 August 1983); doi: 10.1117/12.932951
Show Author Affiliations
M. Houelle, Centre d'Etudes de Valduc (France)
J. M. Gerberon, Centre d'Etudes de Valduc (France)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0312:
1st European Conf on Cineradiography with Photons or Particles
Jacques J. Marilleau, Editor(s)

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