TRIGA Pulse Operation
17 January 2012

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Credit: Vienna University of Technology/Atominstitut, TRIGA Mark II Reactor

Due to the prompt negative temperature coefficient of the TRIGA fuel composed of U-Zr-H it is possible to put TRIGA reactors routinely into a prompt critical condition without any damage to the fuel.

The movies show the reactor core prior to the ejection of a pneumatic absorber rod ( at the right of the center of the picture ), this triggers a prompt nuclear excursion with a bright Cerenkov flash, a few moments later some steam bubbles can be observed streaming upwards from the core centre due to the high energy input.

The reactor is automatically shut down after the flash which can be seen in the second slow motion movie when all three control rods drop into the core.

The maximum power level at the pulse peak is around 250 MW for about 40ms while the reactor period is about 10 msec.