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Title: Summary of the Preliminary Optical ICHMI Design Study: A Preliminary Engineering Design Study for a Standpipe Viewport

This summary report examines an in-vessel optical access concept intended to support standoff optical instrumentation, control and human-machine interface (ICHMI) systems for future advanced small modular reactor (AdvSMR) applications. Optical-based measurement and sensing systems for AdvSMR applications have several key benefits over traditional instrumentation and control systems used to monitor reactor process parameters, such as temperature, flow rate, pressure, and coolant chemistry (Anheier et al. 2013). Direct and continuous visualization of the in-vessel components can be maintained using external cameras. Many optical sensing techniques can be performed remotely using open optical beam path configurations. Not only are in-vessel cables eliminated by these configurations, but also sensitive optical monitoring components (e.g., electronics, lasers, detectors, and cameras) can be placed outside the reactor vessel in the instrument vault, containment building, or other locations where temperatures and radiation levels are much lower. However, the extreme AdvSMR environment present challenges for optical access designs and optical materials. Optical access is not provided in any commercial nuclear power plant or featured in any reactor design, although successful implementation of optical access has been demonstrated in test reactors (Arkani and Gharib 2009). This report outlines the key engineering considerations for an AdvSMR optical access concept. Strictmore » American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) construction codes must be followed for any U.S. nuclear facility component (ASME 2013); however, the scope of this study is to evaluate the preliminary engineering issues for this concept, rather than developing a nuclear-qualified design. In addition, this study does not consider accident design requirements. In-vessel optical access using a standpipe viewport concept serves as a test case to explore the engineering challenges and performance requirements for sodium fast reactor (SFR) and high-temperature gas reactor (HTGR) AdvSMR applications. The expected environmental conditions for deployment are reviewed for both AdvSMR designs. Optical and mechanical materials that maximize component lifetime are evaluated for the standpipe viewport design under these conditions. Optical components and opto-mechanical designs that provide robust optical-to-metal seals and stress-free optical component mounting are identified, and then key performance specifications are developed for a sapphire optical viewport concept. Design strategies are examined that protect the internal optical surfaces from liquid-coolant condensation and impurity deposits. Finally, a conceptual standpipe viewport design that is suggestive of how this concept could be assembled using standard nuclear-qualified pipe components, is presented.« less
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  1. (Amy)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
AdvSMR, ICHMI, optical viewport