2018 | ANNUAL REPORT 13 NSUF has supported the IMCL buildout and invites the worldwide nuclear community to use the capa- bilities now available to help improve understanding of these complex and difficult-to-handle materials. “IMCL offers an entirely new way to use instruments in a highly irradi- ated environment,” said Dr. Mitch Meyer, director of INL’s Characteriza- tion and Advanced Post-Irradiation Examination division. “Our goal is to provide the nuclear energy research community with routine access to the same high-end characterization tools used to advance technology in other industry sectors.” Combined with INL’s advanced computer modeling capabilities, the work at IMCL will enable faster development of advanced fuel designs, reducing the time needed for fuel development and licensing as well as the expense involved. During FY-18, two shielded dual- beam Focused Ion Beam (FIB) systems were placed into service. Of the six FIB instruments in the world capable of characterizing highly irradiated fuel specimens, two are at IMCL, with the third at another building at INL’s Materials and Fuels Complex. In addi- tion to the world class FIB capabilities, IMCL offers a complete suite of other material characterization tools. Current IMCL Capabilities Thermal Property Measurement Cell Measuring the thermal properties of nuclear fuels and materials is essential to understanding and predicting the performance of fuels and materials in a reactor system. Detailed plans for the Thermal Property Measurement Cell at IMCL began in 2015, when INL’s Thermal Properties Capability Devel- opment Workshop was held to iden- tify the capabilities needed by various nuclear programs and the thermal properties instruments needed for nuclear research.As a result, IMCL’s shieldedThermal Property Measure- ment Cell includes four work stations designed to house the following: • A laser flash thermal diffusivity. • A thermomechanical analyzer. • A differential scanning calorimeter/ thermogravimetric analyzer. • An INL-developed thermal conduc- tivity microscope. These new capabilities are designed to make accurate measurements that provide direct data, feed and validate models, and result in reduced uncer- tainty and faster licensing times for accident tolerant and advanced fuels.