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Frequently asked questions

This list of questions is not exhaustive, and some of the answers may change with time as projects proceed.


Q. What is the NCNR Expansion Initiative?
A.
The Expansion Initiative is a multi-year project under the America Competes Act to increase the cold neutron measurement capabilities of the NCNR. This is achieved by creating new beamlines and adding new instruments. For additional information click on one of the links at the top of this page.

Q. What has happened during the long shutdown?
A.
During the long shutdown, which began in April, 2011, a number of important tasks have been undertaken. They include
  • installation of a second cold source, known as "Peewee", at Beam Tube 9 (BT-9), the future location of the MACS spectrometer,
  • installation of new neutron guides within the confinement building (C-100) and an adjacent chamber (D-100)
  • removal of the wall that separates the original guide hall from the guide hall extension
  • several modifications to the reactor's infrastructure, modifications that can only be performed when the reactor is shut down.
Q. When is the reactor expected to restart following the long shutdown?
A.
Late March 2012 for limited user operations..

Q. When will the instruments in the confinement building be available for users?
A.
We anticipate shakedown periods of a few days to a few weeks for instruments that have been minimally affected, i.e. the BT1 powder diffractometer, the BT2 imaging facility, the BT4 spectrometer, the BT5 USANS instrument, the BT7 triple axis spectrometer, and the BT8 residual stress diffractometer.
For more information go to the NCNR Instrumentation page.
For instrument contacts go to the NCNR Instrumentation Contacts page


Q. When will the instruments in the guide hall be available for users?
A.
We anticipate shakedown periods of a few days to a few weeks for instruments that have been minimally affected, i.e. the DCS, HFBS, and NSE spectrometers, the NG3 and NG7 SANS machines, the NG7 reflectometer, and the NG5 SPINS spectrometer.
For more information go to the NCNR Instrumentation page.
For instrument contacts go to the NCNR Instrumentation Contacts page


Q. When will MACS be available for users?
A.
No earlier than September 2012.

Q. What upgrades and improvements have been made to existing instruments during the long shutdown?
A.
A laser alignment system has been installed at the BT5 USANS instrument. This system will enable simpler and more rapid alignment of sample environments and apertures. Other than that, and apart from routine maintenance activities and minor improvements, no significant work has been performed on the existing instruments.

Q. What are the new instruments, how can I find out about their capabilities, and when will they be operational?
A.
For information about the new instruments click on Instrumentation and go to the bottom of the page.
For contact information for the new instruments click on Contacts.


Q. How will the NCNR's SANS program be affected by the long shutdown and its aftermath?
A.
The NG3 and NG7 SANS instruments will be operational and available to users roughly one month after the reactor restart.
In the summer of 2013 the NG3 instrument will be moved to its new location at the newly installed NG-Bu guide. It will be operational seven weeks after instrument shutdown, with a scheduled loss of 38 days of instrument beam time. No user time will be lost as this outage can be accomodated with NIST time and the NG7 SANS instrument. In 2014/15 the NG7 detector vessel will be moved a short distance in order to accommodate the vSANS instrument at the end of the NG6 guide. This work will be completed during normal reactor shutdowns without loss in operational beam time.
The vSANS will be operational in 2015.
For additional information contact Paul Butler or John Barker.


Q. How will the NCNR's reflectometry program be affected by the long shutdown and its aftermath?
A.
The NG7 reflectometer will be operational and available roughly one month after the reactor restart.
The MAGIk instrument and the NG-D polarized beam reflectometer will be operational in mid-2012.
For additional information contact Chuck Majkrzak.


Expansion home Overview Views BT-9 cold source Guides Instrumentation User services Time lines Occasional diary Photos FAQs Contacts

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Last modified 14-March-2012 by website owner: NCNR (attn: John Copley)