Graphite Research and Development focuses on investigating graphite sources and approaches for the core material of a high temperature reactor (HTR). Since graphite has a geologic nature and is not manufactured, small variations within the raw materials may have a significant impact on the reactor. To avoid incidents and increase our knowledge of graphite materials, we are conducting extensive research as to irradiation and high temperature effects on leading graphite types.
The Graphite program supports HTR design and licensing, both by expanding codes and standards for graphite nuclear components, and by developing and qualifying graphite sources. This program has the support of selected universities and international graphite-related collaboration activities.
The Advanced Graphite Creep (AGC) Experiment encompasses three general areas of activity: design and fabrication of AGC test trains, irradiation of these test trains, and pre- and post- irradiation examination and testing of the AGC graphite specimens. This experiment is meant to determine irradiation property changes and the life-limiting creep rates for moderate doses and higher temperatures of leading graphite types that may be used in a graphite reactor design.
Graphite Materials focuses on graphite characterization, data analysis, determination of graphite behavior, and predicting graphite performance for un-irradiated and irradiated candidate grades of graphite. It also supports the codification, design, and licensing of a graphite core reactor.
Graphite Data Management and Analysis focuses on qualifying the data that is generated and then storing it in an easily accessible electronic form for access and control. At INL, these purposes are served by the use of the NDMAS system.