These days, the report on characterization of neutron and gamma irradiated concrete constituents is being finalized.
This massive experimental work aimed at compiling a database of experimental data which help the nuclear facility operators to assess the residual performance of concrete in highly irradiated environment. Typically, these are the biological shielding structures which are designed to sustain the elevated temperatures and high irradiation doses over decades. The compiled database will also help the other scientists with calibration of their numerical models.
Now more specifically: Samples of rocks were selected, measured in terms of weight, size, and chemical and mineralogical composition, and put into the LVR-15 test reactor for about a year. After that, the rock samples were again measured and the result were compared. Bear in mind that the rocks samples were radioactive and very very small, which posed a tricky challenge to hot-cell operators. See our photos!