News from “neutron fields”

News, 08 May 2020

For more than a month and a half since the announced by the WHO pandemic of the coronavirus, the whole Institute together with the city, the region, the country and the whole world at large have been living a difficult life. The Frank Laboratory of Neutron Physics stands, of course, alongside others.

All our actions are coordinated with the JINR leaders and the Operational Headquarters for preventing the spread of the coronavirus infection established due to the Institute’s order No. 175 of 12 March 2020.

Work at the 3rd channel of IBR-2, March 2020

The greatest attention is paid to the reliable and safe operation of the IBR-2 reactor. Since 10 April, testing of shift personnel of the reactor and the staff of the mechanical-technological and electro-technological departments of the Laboratory has been carried out. They ensure the operation of the reactor. After the first testing, the result of one analysis of a shift staff member was positive. All members of the shift, their relatives living together with them were put on quarantine. Tests then were repeated. Nowadays, results of the repeated tests (two tests) of this staff member and his family members, as well as the results of all the staff working at the IBR-2 facility, do not confirm the presence of the virus.

The IBR-2 reactor is now operating in a temporary shutdown mode. A power run was completed on 30 March 2020. After that, it was decided to cancel all the runs planned for April and May. We also postponed the start of the scheduled maintenance for May. On 18 May, we are going to start testing of monitor and control equipment of the reactor jointly with JSC “Tenzor”.

Work at the 3rd channel of IBR-2, March 2020

Almost all the employees of the Laboratory’s divisions are now working remotely. Although at the end of the March run, irradiated samples were put from the 3rd channel to building 43 for further analysis. These were ceramic fragments from the depot of the RAS Institute of Archaeology studied by the IREN Group of Activation Analysis in the frames of a wide programme of research of cultural and natural heritage objects using nuclear physical methods. The programme is also implemented in the Laboratory by the methods of neutron diffraction, neutron tomography, resonance analysis and others.

The scientific and organizational life of the Laboratory is being continued. Using the video-conference technologies, two STC FLNP meetings have already taken place. Members of the Directorate and heads of projects took part in the JINR-BMBF meeting dedicated to drafting a new agreement. Purchasing and supplying necessary materials and equipment as well as work with the personnel are also continued.

I congratulate all the staff of the Frank Laboratory of Neutron Physics and our Institute on the Great Victory Day and wish you all health. Be safe.

Information stands in all FLNP buildings broadcast the list of the Laboratory’s employees who took part in the Great Patriotic War

Valery Shvetsov, Director of
the Frank Laboratory of Neutron Physics