Due to the success and growth at the NBSR in materials research and other areas, funding was approved in the late 1970s to double the power of the NBS reactor to 20 MW.
During the late 1970s and early 1980s materials research at the NBSR continued to expand both in new applications and in participation within the NBS and nationally.
The value of neutrons for crystallographic characterization was one of the driving forces for the construction of the NBSR reactor.
Two Department of Defense guest scientist groups that started work at the NBSR in the early 1970s drove interest in use of neutron diffraction for engineering measurements.
The first use of neutron diffraction for the determination of residual stress in a KE penetrator alloy, U with a Ti mass fraction of 0.75 %, was made successfully at the NBSR (85).
The Radiochemical Analysis Section at NBS was established in 1963, even before the NBSR became available.
The use of neutron beams for chemical analysis was pioneered at the NBSR. A prompt-gamma activatio analysis system was installed by the University o Maryland in 1978 (111,112) and has been in continuous use ever since by scientists from the University, the Food and Drug Administration, and NIST.
Stimulated by the SANS results emerging from Europe, NIST scientists Charles Han and Bernard Mozer set up a rudimentary SANS instrument at a thermal beam port (BT-5) at the NBSR. The instrument was about 4 m long with a 1 m long, linear position-sensitive detector set back two meters from the sample position to collect the small-angle scattering.
High resolution SANS measurements, utilizing cold (long wavelength) neutrons and pinhole collimation over long distances, became possible for the first time in the United States when the neutron guide hail and cold neutron source were installed at the NBSR in the late 1980s.
In 1987 Charles Majkrzak and Sushil Satija started doing neutron reflectivity by converting the BT-4 spectrometer at NBSR to obtain very narrow ribbon like neutron beams required for these measurements.