Frontier is a trusted global supplier of neutron sources for nuclear startup rod assemblies. Californium-252 (Cf-252) sources are an essential component within nuclear reactor start up rods to initiate a nuclear fission reaction. The high neutron flux and spontaneous fission of Cf-252 then causes the fission reaction in uranium oxide fuel rods.
Nuclear Source Assembly (NSA)
Startup rods are used to trigger the initial startup chain reaction in a new reactor; however, they can also be used to restart a reactor that has been taken offline. Frontier manufactures Cf-252 sources, non-destructive testing (NDT), antimony-beryllium pellets, and all parts of the startup rod assembly within customers’ specifications while adhering to the highest safety and nuclear industry standards.
Small Modular Reactor Sources
Small modular reactors (SMR) are a growing opportunity in the nuclear energy industry. With a smaller energy output and smaller footprint than traditional reactors, SMRs can be located in areas previously unavailable to nuclear power sources.
Like any reactor, they require a nuclear chain reaction for the startup process, and Cf-252 startup rods are a common choice. Proper neutron radiation shielding with shielding walls are also critical for personnel and public safety. Frontier provides SMR facilities with state-of-the-art startup rod assemblies and custom shielding walls.
Fuel Scanner Sources
Nuclear fuel rods are monitored regularly to determine the enrichment level of the uranium-235 inside. Fuel scanning devices use Cf-252 neutron sources and delayed gamma ray emissions to measure fissile material content and uniformity within the fuel rods. This allows for optimization of reactor performance and energy production.
Antimony-Beryllium (Sb-Be) Pellets
These secondary sources of neutron emission are placed within startup rod assemblies to help initiate the nuclear chain reaction. Frontier manufactures cold-pressed pellets to customer-supplied specifications for diameter, length, and width. We can accommodate prototype-to-production volume.