Forschungs-Neutronenquelle Heinz Maier-Leibnitz (FRM II)
The research neutron source Heinz Maier-Leibnitz (FRM II) (www.frm2.tum.de), is a central scientific institute of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) housed on the premises of the Research Centre in Garching. The FRM II came into user operation in April 29, 2005 and provides neutrons for science, industry and medicine in four cycles of 60 days a year.
The research neutron source Heinz Maier-Leibnitz (FRM II) is one of the most powerful and advanced neutron sources in the world. Using the nuclear fission of uranium, it produces more than 1014 free neutrons per square centimetre and second, which are used for research, industry and medicine. The thermal capacity amounts to 20 MW.
For physical reasons, the FRM II is in operation at nominal power for 60 days. Each operating phase is followed by a maintenance break, so that each year users can typically benefit from up to 240 days for measurements.
As a nuclear installation, FRM II meets the highest safety criteria laid down by the authority responsible (the Ministry for the Environment and Consumer Protection) with the involvement of experts and is repeatedly inspected in accordance with § 20 of the Atomic Energy Act.
Reactor cycle length
Operating Days per year
Scientific Experiments per year
Research at the FRM II
The source is placed at the disposal of industry for about 30 % of the usable beam time. This includes both industry-related research, funded by the public purse and contract research, funded by industry e.g. the doping of silicon for the semiconductor industry, the production of radioisotopes for nuclear medicine and industry, elemental analysis and tumor therapy.
The core aim of the reactor operation is to provide a high neutron flux. It is not used to generate electricity. With 20 megawatts of thermal power, the FRM II produces only about 0.6 % of the thermal power produced by a conventional nuclear power plant to generate electricity. It has the world's best thermal ratio of performance to neutron flux and is thus one of the most effective and modern neutron sources in the world.