Research > Program No. 2: Structural and System Diagnostics > RA4: Hot cells

RA4: Hot cells

The main purpose of the hot cells is to enable the implementation of materials research for nuclear power plants with emphasis on life extension. The aim is to obtain the opportunity to research the complex behaviour of highly active materials, and that means having the facilities for the study of material properties from the microstructure, mechanical properties in a production environment. 8 hot chambers complex gamma, alpha two chambers and one of semi-chamber is located in the building No. 254 in NRI complex, as Rez near Prague.

Schema of hot cells complex

Hot cell laboratory is designed to work with radioactive materials, structural components of nuclear power plants with maximum activity being processed ~ 300 TBq (converted to energy Co60). The shielding will consist of steel blocks with a maximum thickness of 500 mm and visors of leaded glass, allowing operators to monitor the work inside the hot cell. Inside the shielding blocks will be placed (for each hot chamber), removable inner airtight box made of stainless steel.

Transportation of radioactive materials/samples between cells is ensured by a special crane machine moving above the ceiling shielding. The material will be transported in the container of sufficient shielding for highly irradiated samples. Loading of the material into the hot cell will be through the hole in the upper part of each cell. Box opening during filling of the sample should be such as to prevent radiation leakage endangering the safe operation of the complex hot cells, even if the box is not decontaminated.

Hot cell instrumentation is planned to allow to cover the entire process of material research, ie. from production of the samples from the basic irradiated material through mechanical tests, metallographic sample preparation to final microstructure analysis. The basic instruments, acquired in hot cells include:

  • electron beam welding machine,
  • CNC machine tool,
  • EDM machine
  • universal tensile testing machine,
  • Fatigue machine and biaxial machine
  • autoclave,
  • Equipment for creep tests,
  • Electrochemistry (located in the Alfa chamber)
  • SEM, nanointendor (placed in the semi-hot cell).