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Canada's 1st neutron reflectometer.

The National Research Council Canada (NRC) has started up Canada's first neutron reflectometer, one of five instruments deployed at the National Research Universal (NRU) research reactor at Chalk River National Laboratories.

Neutron reflectometry is a new technique in which a reflected beam of neutrons is used to reveal the composition and measure the thickness of very thin layers of materials without destroying them. The layers are as little as a few atoms thick. This unique and powerful tool can even analyze layers submerged in water or buried within thick solid materials, at temperatures from absolute zero to hundreds of degrees. It can detect light elements, such as hydrogen, as easily as heavy elements, such as lead.

Much of the information yielded by neutron reflectometry cannot be obtained by any other means. The project was the result of participation by a dozen Canadian universities and led by The University of Western Ontario professors David Shoesmith, FCIC, and Jamie Noel, MCIC. Central to their work are studies of corrosion--especially how it relates to the burial of nuclear waste. Their research group is constructing corrosion failure models for nuclear fuel waste disposal containers, studying the penetration of moisture into the containers, and making long-term predictions about what happens to nuclear fuel inside a failed waste container. The goal is to construct barriers that will last long enough to allow the radioactivity to decay to a non-toxic level before the containers breach.

Nuclear Canada
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Title Annotation:NEWS / NOUVELLES
Publication:Canadian Chemical News
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Nov 1, 2007
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