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Hot Laboratory Division (AHL)

AHL is the PSI organization operating the hot laboratory (HOTLAB) facility.

It belongs to the Nuclear Energy and Safety Division (NES) of the Paul Scherrer Institut (PSI).

The HOTLAB is the single Swiss laboratory authorized by the safety authorities to handle large quantities of radioactive materials including commercial as well as experimental nuclear fuel.

The three main responsibilities of the AHL division are:
  1. to operate safely and efficiently the hot laboratory facility.
  2. to realize scientific evaluation and characterization of highly radioactive materials for commercial as well as research partners.
  3. to support PSI internal research groups as well as external users of PSI facilities with the manipulation and preparation of radioactive materials (User Lab function).
In order to fulfill these responsibilities, AHL collaborators have developed specific and complex instrumentations and skills. The main working fields of the division are:
  • Examination and understanding of high burn-up LWR fuel behavior (UO2 and MOX)
  • Damage analyses of core structural components
  • Providing a significant contribution to safety and economy of existing and next generation power plants
  • Insure an immediate support of Swiss nuclear power stations in case of urgent need of material investigation
  • Act as user lab for the users of other PSI research facilities with radioactive materials