Located at the Chalk River Laboratories, CNL’s Laser Dimensioning (LD) capability enables the development of predictive equations for the maintenance and design of CANDU® reactor fuel channel components. The purpose of CNL’s LD capability is to perform high-precision (i.e., micron level) dimensional measurements on un-irradiated and irradiated small-scale material specimens. The facility supports deformation and creep studies on various reactor materials, such as zirconium and inconel alloys. AECL’s LD capability utilizes three laser-based profiling systems of the Beta-Laser Mike (formerly Zygo) brand.
There are several complementary facilities and branches at CRL which work in conjunction with CNL’s LD capability. These include:
- The Laser Welding Facility
- The irradiation facilities within the NRU reactor, including the U1 and U2 loops, and Fast Neutron rods
- The Shielded Facilities
- The Analytical Chemistry Branch
- The Electron Microscopy Facilities (SEM, TEM, and X-ray)
Since 1988, CNL has utilized its LD capability in irradiation experiments designed to support current and future CANDU reactor designs by testing fuel channel materials over a wide range of conditions ranging from 0 to 250 MPa applied stress, 25°C to 360°C testing end-of-tube (~1e16 n/m2/sec) and body-of-tube (~2e17 n/m2/sec) fast-neutron fluxes.