AAS – Activation Analysis Service for Elemental Analysis

A common use of reactor facilities and accelerators is the identification of elements in samples that customers are interested in quantifying. Using neutron activation, approximately 75 of the elements on the periodic table can be identified using this method. The facility, as of January 1st, 2019, now performs elemental analysis of samples commercially. For more information on this service or inquiries, please see the Activation Analysis Service page, or contact Dr. George Miller at

Reactor Irradiations

The reactor is available for irradiations of samples in approved experiments in the many different terminuses of the core. For more information regarding sample size and neutron flux, please see the Facility subpage on the reactor. Depending on the institution requesting irradiation, internal or external to the university system, fees will vary.

Gamma Irradiations

Irradiations using the gamma irradiator of the facility are less restrictive than those of the reactor. Gamma irradiations are useful for many different applications, such as radiation hardness testing of electronics, chemical radiolytic degredation studies, and biological sterilization. Additional information can be found on the Gamma Irradiator page of the Facility.

Counting Services

Several radiation detectors used for detecting and quantifying alpha, beta, gamma, and neutron radiations are available for use at the reactor facility. Such instruments are critical to the performance of neutron activation analysis for both research and commercial services. Sample sizes for such counting are generally very small, but large volume samples can also be accommodated. More information is available on the Gamma Spectrometry Systems page of the Facility.

Facility Use

Typical experiments will require a small portion of the facility and can be accommodated through proper scheduling and advance notice. For larger or more laborious work, the reactor facility may be rented out for larger experiments and procedures, though this is a relatively rare occurrence.


Prices for users internal to the University of California system are as follows:

Service Description Rate
Reactor Use per Hour $130.00
Spectrometer Use per Hour $50.00
Spectrometer Use Overnight $50.00
Isotope Production Contact Us
Facility Use per Day $300.00
Neutron Shield Attenuation Testing $173.00
Shipping Assistance per Irradiation $50.00
Gamma Irradiator Use per Hour $50.00

External users may expect prices at least 13% higher, but will generally even exceed that rule due to university overhead and complexity / demands of the experiment.

Experiment Proposals, Restrictions, Approvals, and Procedures

All experiments are subject to approval and review. In the event of a new experiment, a full proposal and application must be completed and approved by the reactor facility management, which, dependent on the quality of the application, may only take a few days to a week. For an experiment of sufficient complexity and several unknown factors, the experiment may have to be approved by the Nuclear Regulatory commission, especially in the event that the license of the facility would be violated in performance of the experiment. Obtaining NRC approval for such an evolution may take on the order of months, so it is encouraged to design experiments within the allowances made by the facility’s license.