Frontier Technology Corporation is the world’s expert and leading global supplier of neutron sources and nuclear startup rod assemblies.

Nuclear Startup Rod Assemblies from Frontier Technology Corporation

We manufacture complete startup rod assemblies that include californium-252 (Cf-252) neutron sources, antimony-beryllium pellets, non-destructive testing (NDT), and all parts of the rod assembly. Rods are produced according to our customer’s specifications and meet and exceed the highest level of safety requirements and standards set by the nuclear industry.

All startup rods are shipped in our Type-A radioactive shipping containers, which are designed for safe and efficient transportation and unloading. Domestic and international shipping are available. 

Californium-252 as a Startup Neutron Source

While uranium is commonly used as fuel inside a nuclear reactor, it cannot reliably start a nuclear fission reaction on its own. A highly active, stable source of neutron emission, such as californium-252, is needed to bombard uranium oxide fuel rods with neutrons, starting a sustained nuclear reaction. 

Startup rods are interspersed with fuel rods within the reactor core to provide the initial reaction that triggers a long chain of nuclear fission reactions from the fuel rods.

Common applications for startup rods include:

  • Axial offset control
  • Emergency shutdowns
  • Reactor and Power control
  • Reactor shutdown
  • Reactor startup

Choose Frontier for Nuclear Startup Rod Assemblies

Over decades we have worked with customers including Westinghouse, Framatome, DOE National Laboratories, and others to provide californium-252 neutron sources, nuclear start up rods, and other critical services. Please contact us to learn more or to request a quote.

Read the Real World Application

The Westinghouse team was challenged to meet international standards and urgent timelines of a fuel loading schedule at their Korea-based plant. Learn how Frontier Technologies Corporation helped Westinghouse achieve their goals in this case study.

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