Opportunities for Materials Science and Biological Research at the OPAL Research Reactor


Neutron scattering techniques have evolved over more than Yo century into a powerful set of tools fordetennination of atomic and molecular structures. Modem facilities offer the possibility to detennine complex structuresover length scales from -D.l nm to -500 nm. They can also provide infonnation on atomic and molecular dynamics, onmagnetic interactions and on the location and behaviour of hydrogen in a variety of materials. The OPAL ResearchReactor is a 20 megawatt pool type reactor using low enriched uranium fuel, and cooled by water. OPAL is amultipurpose neutron factory with modem facilities for neutron beam research, radioisotope production and irradiationservices. The neutron beam facility has been designed to compete with the best beam facilities in the world. After sixyears in construction, the reactor and neutron beam facilities are now being commissioned, and we will commencescientific experiments later this year. The presentation will include an outline of the strengths of neutron scattering and adescription of the OPAL research reactor, with particular emphasis on it's scientific infrastructure. It will also provide anoverview of the opportunities for research in materials science and biology that will be possible at OPAL, andmechanisms for accessing the facilities. The discussion will emphasize how researchers from around the world canutilize these exciting new facilities.Keywords: Neutron beam facilities, research reactor, atomic and molecular dynamics. S. 1. KennedyThe Bragg Institute, Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation,Menai NSW 2234, Australia