Small Component Test Loop


The Small Component Test Loop (SCTL) was built in 1958 and operated through 1988. The SCTL was located in Buildings 4026/4826. Its principal purpose was to provide a test bed for non-nuclear qualification testing of typical Liquid Metal Fast Breeder Reactor (LMFBR) components and to obtain test data for verification of the elevated temperature design criteria of the piping design guide. The SCTL was capable of testing components such as pumps, valves, pipe fittings, and instruments to determine operating characteristics, resistance to damage from thermal shock, material compatibility, and to determine the component’s vibration, leakage, noise and endurance characteristics in liquid sodium.

The SCTL was originally built as the Large Components Test Loop (LCTL) in 1958 and commenced operation in 1959 with a pump test. In 1970, the LCTL was modified and expanded, with the new facility designated the SCTL. In 1974, the facility was again modified and expanded with the addition of the Piping and Valve Test Insert (PVTI). In 1978 a new control room was added onto the northwest corner of the facility, giving the complex its final appearance. Testing within the facility continued periodically from 1959 until 1985.


Upon completion of the test programs, the sodium was drained into the facility sodium drain tanks and all systems were secured. The facility was maintained in inactive standby status, with the sodium systems under an inert cover gas, until late 1995.  The sodium was shipped off-site for recycling. Monitoring and maintenance operations continued until facility demolition was initiated in 1996. The area has been backfilled, graded and planted with native seed cover.