Post-Irradiation Examination (PIE) Facilities

Hot Cells and Handling Facilities

The reactor containment building is equipped with an overhead polar crane with 20-ton and 3-ton hooks. These cranes are used for installations and removals of in-core and other experiments. A variety of shielded transfer casks are also available for transfers. There are two hot cells in the reactor hall. The larger cell is generally used for handling and disassembly of full-height in-core experiments. This cell is accessible for installation of custom fixturing required for particular experiments. The smaller cell has been used to handle small, high activity components and fuel from in-core experiments. A collimated gamma scan facility can be installed in the small cell. The reactor spent fuel pool is also available for storage, handling and packaging of irradiated experiments. Shipping casks up to the GE2000 can be loaded dry or wet.


Reactor Floor Main Hot Cell
Reactor Hot Box


Hot Sample Preparation Facilities

Laboratory space is available within the reactor exclusion area (outside the containment building) with two standard fume hoods and a perchloric acid-capable fume hood for electro-polishing (a Struers electropolisher is available.) A controlled-atmosphere 4-port glove box with furnace is also available. A ventilated hot box with manipulators is located in this laboratory and is available for specialized PIE activities requiring more shielding than can be installed in the fume hoods. Standard metallurgical sample preparation (epoxy mounting, sectioning and polishing) can be carried out on activated samples. Photography and macro-photography for irradiated specimens is also available.

Electron Micropcopy Facilities

Although there are no electron microscopes within the reactor containment or exclusion area, non-dedicated facilities can be used for hot sample microscopy at MIT. The instruments available in the MIT Department of Materials Science and Engineering Central Facility are described at Use of these facilities for irradiated materials is subject to dose limits and approvals from MIT’s Radiation Protection Office. In some cases, dedicated sample holders may be required to reduce the probability of contamination of shared equipment.