INL News Release
April 20, 2009

Teri Ehresman, 208-526-7785,

UNLV becomes partner with National Scientific User Facility

IDAHO FALLS -- The Advanced Test Reactor National Scientific User Facility has added a fourth partner facility to its growing Partnerships Program. The University of Nevada, Las Vegas Transmission Electron Microscopy User Facility will be made available to ATR NSUF users, according to Todd Allen, ATR NSUF scientific director.

"The INL strongly believes in establishing partnerships with existing facilities to optimize the quality of research sponsored by the NSUF. UNLV microscopy facilities will become an integral part of the NSUF capability," he said.

"UNLV holds a Radioactive Materials License from the Nevada State Health Division, which will allow use of its high-end analytical instruments, such as transmission electron microscopy, electron microprobe analysis and X-ray diffraction, to support NSUF experiments with expanded testing and examination of certain irradiated specimens."

To increase overall research capability, ATR NSUF seeks to form strategic partnerships with university facilities that offer significant nuclear research capability, and are accessible to all ATR NSUF users. The ATR NSUF Partnership Program allows universities to self-nominate capability. If the ATR NSUF determines through review by a panel of subject matter experts that the research capability adds value to users, the capability is added to the NSUF, subject to funding considerations.

Earlier this year, the NSUF added partner facilities at the University of Michigan Irradiated Materials Testing Laboratory and the Wisconsin Characterization Lab for Irradiated Materials. These facilities support testing of irradiated materials and ion irradiation studies on radiation resistance of materials. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Reactor was added as a partner in 2008.

Established by the U.S. Department of Energy in April 2007, the ATR NSUF supports U.S. leadership in nuclear science and technology. By attracting new research users -- universities, laboratories and industry -- the ATR supports basic and applied nuclear research and development, advancing the nation's energy security needs.


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