Neutron time-of-flight experiment nELBE

At the end of 2007, a new neutron facility was put into operation at Forschungszentrum Dresden-Rossendorf. In the future, scientists plan to investigate how long-lived radioavtice waste, generated as a by-product in nuclear power plants all over the world, can be transmuted in a way that it needs to be locked up in a permanent disposal site for a considerably shorter period of time.

At the nELBE experiment scientists want to investigate how nuclei are excited by means of energy transfer from neutrons as well as neutron capture processes of nuclei. The neutrons are produced via the intense electron beam of the electron linac ELBE at FZD. The FZD Institutes of Safety Research and Radiation Physics joined in building up this technologically highly complex experiment. In the first step non-radioactive materials like iron and magnesium, which are suitable for the construction of new so called generation IV reactors, are to be targeted by neutrons.

Bleitarget Neutronen ELBE

Total view of photo neutron source nELBE including electron beam facility and production target for neutrons

3DAnsicht Blei-Loop an nELBE

Three-dimensional view of production target (liquid lead) for neutrons at nELBE experiment

FZD scientists want to find out how exactly fast neutrons interact with iron. Following this, they plan to examine strontium-88 as a non-radioactive test case for the fission product strontium-90 in order to investigate the transmutation of fission products.