OPAL operating cycles
The OPAL research reactor operates on an annual (calendar year) program. This page provides details of OPAL's operating cycles including maintenance information.
Reactor schedule - 2015/2016
- Click on a cycle number to view the power and shutdown days for each operating cycle in the calendar below.
- Click on the ‘previous’ and ‘next’ for more operating cycles.
*This schedule is subject to revision.
Page last updated 22.09.15
Typical operating cycles
OPAL typically operates in cycles of 30 to 35 days, followed by a short refuelling outage to remove three spent fuel assemblies and replace them with new fuel assemblies.
During these types of outages, the OPAL team also performs maintenance and undertakes a series of inspections and surveillances. These refuelling outages typically last around four to six days.
The Reactor Operations team aims to operate OPAL for 300 days each calendar year.
In addition, there are longer maintenance outages that enable more extensive inspections, refurbishment and maintenance work to be carried out. These maintenance outages vary in length, depending on the work required, but are generally between one and four weeks in length. They would normally also include refuelling the reactor.
For users of OPAL's neutron scattering instruments, a day of beam time runs for 24 hours; for example from 9 am to 9 am the following day.