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Laboratories that students and lecturers utilise during lectures and research:

The VR-1 reactor

The VR-1 reactor is state-of-the-art experimental instrumentation for bachelor, master, and doctoral students in nuclear engineering from the Czech Republic and abroad. Research and development activities at the reactor mainly focus on current challenges in nuclear energy development, particularly on the safe operation of nuclear installations, theoretical and experimental reactor physics, nuclear safety, and nuclear fuel cycle. Apart from traditional nuclear technology research, the VR-1 reactor is also active in using neutron applications to conduct various multidisciplinary research that put together nuclear technology and natural sciences, social sciences, or humanities. The reactor is a pool-type, light water reactor based on low enriched uranium. The reactor went critical for the first time on December 3rd, 1990. The nominal thermal power of the reactor is 100 W which can increase up to 500 W up to 70 hours annually. Due to its low power, there is a sufficient natural flow to remove the heat from the reactor core without a circulation pump. The reactor is operated at atmospheric pressure and a temperature of about 20 °C (depending on the ambient temperature). The neutron moderator is light demineralised water, used as a neutron reflector, biological shielding, and coolant. The reactor has the shape of an octahedral body and is manufactured from special shielding concrete. There are two pools in the reactor – stainless steel vessels. Large experimental equipment of the VR-1 reactor is available to the reactor staff and users consists of several vertical irradiation tubes, one radial horizontal beam port, one tangential horizontal beam port, shutter and measuring boxes for experiments on radial beam port, MONTE experimental instrumentation, EMK neutron detection system for education and training, instrumentation for delayed neutrons detection, instrumentation for bubble boiling simulation, instrumentation for the study of temperature reactivity effects, instrumentation for fast reactivity changes, instrumentation for frequency reactivity changes, etc. At the VR-1 reactor, various external neutron sources and many different neutron detectors can also be used.

The VR-2 reactor

The VR-2 subcritical reactor is a nuclear reactor that cannot reach criticality or supercriticality. It requires an external source of neutrons to keep the steady-state chain reaction. The VR-2 reactor is an ongoing project that will ultimately build and operate a new nuclear reactor in the Czech Republic. The VR-2 reactor and its operation are used long-term experiences from the VR-1 reactor and the operation of the first Czech subcritical assembly SR-0B (1973-1978). The primary motivation to build subcritical assembly is insufficient experimental capabilities of the VR-1 reactor which cannot satisfy users' demands from academia, particularly during semester periods when academic education at the VR-1 reactor is carried out. The utilisation factor of the VR-1 reactor in the semester often reaches 100 %, and it is difficult to fulfil the needs of current reactor users and accept new users from academia. The VR-2 reactor will bring unique educational, training and research capabilities that will satisfy users' needs. The advantages of subcritical assemblies are their straightforward construction, low operation costs and high inherent safety. The basic concept of the VR-2 reactor will follow the typical structure of a subcritical reactor. The unique feature of the assembly will be its maximal flexibility and modularity - variability in lattice geometry (square or hexagonal), fuel pins pitch, neutron sources, moderator level, and moderator temperature, well as fuel pin type itself. The fuel was delivered from Finland under collaboration with Aalto University. The available fuel inventory for the VR-2 consist of enriched uranium pins and natural metallic uranium pins. The construction will allow reaching effective multiplication factor up to 0.97. There will be a variability in external neutron sources, which can be used to keep steady-state chain reaction (D-D generator, Am-Be source, Californium source, or D-T generator). The VR-2 reactor will be used mainly for education and research in reactor lattice physics, where benchmark experiments easily can be carried out or research on the development and testing of various detection systems. At the end of October 2019 official building of the VR-2 subcritical assembly started when the application for siting was submitted to the national regulatory body. The siting license was obtained on November 3rd, 2020, and the VR-2 reactor is at the design and construction stage. Expected commissioning of the VR-2 reactor is at the end of 2022/beginning of 2023.

Nuclear security laboratory

Nuclear Security is one of the crucial aspects of the safe and secure operation of any nuclear reactor. Nuclear safety or safe operation of a nuclear facility is an essential part of any nuclear engineering curricula and various nuclear research topics. On the contrary to nuclear safety, nuclear security is a rare topic of education and nuclear research worldwide, even though the situation is slowly getting better. a new nuclear security laboratory commissioned in 2019 fills this gap. The primary purpose of the laboratory is to understand, model and evaluate physical security systems at nuclear installations (reactors). The laboratory is designed for facility characterisation, target identification, threat definition, and basic principles of a physical protection system design (detection, delay, and response). The laboratory consists of two parts: 1.) hardware subsystems and components of physical protection systems; and 2.) software modelling of physical protection systems of a hypothetical nuclear installation. Hardware subsystems and components of the physical protection systems are dedicated to identifying external and internal intruders. a broad spectrum of detectors of intruders and cameras frequently used in interior and exterior systems are available for detailed study. Modelling of the whole process of physical protection, starting from the system description through the system's design to evaluating effectiveness, is performed by a software modelling of physical protection systems using a hypothetical nuclear facility modelling system called HYPO.

Laboratory of cybernetic safety of nuclear installations and sources of ionising radiation

The laboratory is intended for research and educational activities in ethical hacking, penetration testing and computer forensics. The virtualisable environment allows fast computer conversion and restores previous virtual machine settings, network elements, and connection. This laboratory enables people to create vulnerable systems (virtual and physical), flexibly set up a network structure, install firewalls, deploy malware, carry out attacks, search for digital artefacts, etc. Installation of this laboratory allows people to use the computing power to demonstrate DDoS attack, password cracking, or another task in computer security. Sufficient computing power, RAM and permanent storage capacity allow users to store and process a large amount of data. The and Department of Information Security operates the laboratory. It is located in the building of Faculty of Information Technology in Dejvice.

Laboratory of forensic analysis of nuclear and dual-use materials

This radiochemical laboratory is classified as a "clean" laboratory. It is equipped with experimental devices designated for ionising radiation detection, devices designated for direct one-radionuclide identification, sample matrix characterisation and speciation of analytes. The laboratory is utilised for isotopic composition identification of materials used in nuclear and associated separation technology, and performed experiments are practically training-oriented. The laboratory is equipped with portable surface contamination detectors, an analytical HPLC system for dual-use materials, shielded chamber for radioactive/fissionable/dual-use samples handling. The laboratory is also equipped with a precise portable HPGe detector and neutron scintillators. The laboratory is also utilised to develop methods for detecting and identifying radioactive material and its bonding to the sample matrix, indicating a possible origin and behaviour of the analyte. The Department of Nuclear Chemistry operates the laboratory, and it is located in the main building of the FNSPE in the Old Town of Prague.

Laboratory for the detection of nuclear materials and sources of ionising radiation

This laboratory is designated for research and educational activities in detecting nuclear materials and ionising radiation sources. The laboratory is equipped with routes for detecting all types of ionising radiation, and it allows users to detect, evaluate and interpret the results of measurements. Detectors are located in cells with low background radiation allowing identification of even very low (trace) activities. The laboratory may also be used to use two neutron generators (D-D and D-T type) as a defined neutron source for detector calibration. The laboratory is operated by the Department of Nuclear Reactors and is located in Troja at FNSPE.

Dosimetry and spectrometric laboratories

This laboratory of integral dosimetry focuses on chemical and thermoluminescent detectors designated for the characterisation of ionising radiation fields and personal radiation monitoring. The laboratory of X-ray spectroscopy is specialised in the non-destructive analysis of materials based on studying characteristic X-ray emissions. Available instrumentation is also capable of identification of some nuclear materials. The laboratory of radiation detection is focused on research, testing and practical utilisation of detectors and detection systems for various types of ionising radiation. The laboratory is operated by the Department of Dosimetry and Application of Ionizing Radiation and is located in the main building of the FNSPE in Old Town of Prague.

Radiochemistry and instrumentation laboratories complex

This laboratories complex is designated for closed and open radioactive sources handling. It consists of two radiochemical laboratories of the 2nd category destined for working with opened radioactive sources, several laboratories of the 1st category and other laboratories equipped with modern instrumentation. Radiochemical laboratories are equipped with complete radiometric equipment, including high- and low-resolution gamma-ray spectrometers, alpha ray spectrometers, liquid scintillation spectrometry, TLC radiochromatography, ionisation chambers, and liquid chromatography with radiometric detection. Instrumental analytical laboratories are equipped with laser spectrometer TRLFS, infrared spectrometer, a high-resolution mass spectrometer with APCI and ESI ionisation, LC-MS system, UV-VIS spectrophotometers with optical probe allowing to measure the chemical reactions kinetics in-situ, gas chromatograph, atomic absorption spectrometers, ICP-MS analyser, structural X-ray. These laboratories are operated by the Department of Nuclear Chemistry and are located in the main building of the FNSPE in the Old Town of Prague.

Neutron activation analysis laboratory

Neutron activation analysis is one of the most widely used neutron applications. For this reason, there is a unique laboratory intended primarily for the needs of neutron activation analysis. The laboratory contains two HPGe detectors located in a lead shield and several gamma spectrometric systems, and multichannel analysers. These devices allow performing qualitative and quantitative analysis of monitored samples from various fields of science (for example, historical samples, soil samples, etc.).



School training reactor VR-1 School training reactor VR-1

Nuclear security laboratory Nuclear security laboratory

Laboratory of cybernetic safety of nuclear installations and sources of ionising radiation Laboratory of cybernetic safety of nuclear installations and sources of ionising radiation

Laboratory of cybernetic safety of nuclear installations and sources of ionising radiation Laboratory of forensic analysis of nuclear and dual-use materials

Laboratory for the detection of nuclear materials and sources of ionising radiation Laboratory for the detection of nuclear materials and sources of ionising radiation

Dosimetry and spectrometric laboratories Dosimetry and spectrometric laboratories

Radiochemistry and instrumentation laboratories complex Radiochemistry and instrumentation laboratories complex