Container irradiation test at the UFTR

Over the past few weeks, the team has been preparing to conduct neutron irradiation of bacteria samples in the University of Florida Training Reactor in support of research for the NASA Planetary Protection Research program. After pressure and vacuum testing, a container identical to the one in which bacteria will be contained for fielding was placed in the reactor shield tank for irradiation to evaluate effects of induced radioactivity. Shown is the container at the bottom of a maneuverable structure lowered into the UFTR shield tank during irradiation. The blue glow is Cherenkov Radiation caused by particles moving faster than the speed of light in water.