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 for
detennination of atomic and molecular structures. Modem facilities offer the possibility to detennine complex structures
over length scales from -D.l nm to -500 nm. They can also provide infonnation on atomic and molecular dynamics, on
magnetic interactions and on the location and behaviour of hydrogen in a variety of materials. The OPAL Research
Reactor is a 20 megawatt pool type reactor using low enriched uranium fuel, and cooled by water. OPAL is a
multipurpose neutron factory with modem facilities for neutron beam research, radioisotope production and irradiation
services. The neutron beam facility has been designed to compete with the best beam facilities in the world. After six
years in construction, the reactor and neutron beam facilities are now being commissioned, and we will commence
scientific experiments later this year. The presentation will include an outline of the strengths of neutron scattering and a
description of the OPAL research reactor, with particular emphasis on it's scientific infrastructure. It will also provide an
overview of the opportunities for research in materials science and biology that will be possible at OPAL, and
mechanisms for accessing the facilities. The discussion will emphasize how researchers from around the world can
utilize these exciting new facilities.
Keywords: Neutron beam facilities, research reactor, atomic and molecular dynamics. S. 1. Kennedy; The Bragg Institute, Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation,
Menai NSW 2234, Australia