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Title: Summary of Thermocouple Performance During Advanced Gas Reactor Fuel Irradiation Experiments in the Advanced Test Reactor and Out-of-Pile Thermocouple Testing in Support of Such Experiments

Abstract

High temperature gas reactor experiments create unique challenges for thermocouple based temperature measurements. As a result of the interaction with neutrons, the thermoelements of the thermocouples undergo transmutation, which produces a time dependent change in composition and, as a consequence, a time dependent drift of the thermocouple signal. This drift is particularly severe for high temperature platinum-rhodium thermocouples (Types S, R, and B); and tungsten-rhenium thermocouples (Types C and W). For lower temperature applications, previous experiences with type K thermocouples in nuclear reactors have shown that they are affected by neutron irradiation only to a limited extent. Similarly type N thermocouples are expected to be only slightly affected by neutron fluxes. Currently the use of these Nickel based thermocouples is limited when the temperature exceeds 1000°C due to drift related to phenomena other than nuclear irradiation. High rates of open-circuit failure are also typical. Over the past ten years, three long-term Advanced Gas Reactor (AGR) experiments have been conducted with measured temperatures ranging from 700oC – 1200oC. A variety of standard Type N and specialty thermocouple designs have been used in these experiments with mixed results. A brief summary of thermocouple performance in these experiments is provided. Most recently, outmore » of pile testing has been conducted on a variety of Type N thermocouple designs at the following (nominal) temperatures and durations: 1150oC and 1200oC for 2000 hours at each temperature, followed by 200 hours at 1250oC, and 200 hours at 1300oC. The standard Type N design utilizes high purity crushed MgO insulation and an Inconel 600 sheath. Several variations on the standard Type N design were tested, including Haynes 214 alloy sheath, spinel (MgAl2O4) insulation instead of MgO, a customized sheath developed at the University of Cambridge, and finally a loose assembly thermocouple with hard fired alumina insulation and molybdenum sheath. The most current version of the High Temperature Irradiation Resistant Thermocouple (HTIR-TC) based on molybdenum/niobium alloys, and developed at Idaho National Laboratory, was also tested.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
Sponsoring Org.:
DOE - NE
OSTI Identifier:
1194014
Report Number(s):
INL/CON-15-34631
DOE Contract Number:  
DE-AC07-05ID14517
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: ANIMMA 2014,Lisbon, Portugal,04/20/2015,04/24/2015
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; High-temperature Irradiation; In-Pile Instrumentation; Thermocouple; Thermocouple Testing

Citation Formats

A. J. Palmer, DC Haggard, J. W. Herter, M. Scervini, W. D. Swank, D. L. Knudson, and R. S. Cherry. Summary of Thermocouple Performance During Advanced Gas Reactor Fuel Irradiation Experiments in the Advanced Test Reactor and Out-of-Pile Thermocouple Testing in Support of Such Experiments. United States: N. p., 2011. Web.
A. J. Palmer, DC Haggard, J. W. Herter, M. Scervini, W. D. Swank, D. L. Knudson, & R. S. Cherry. Summary of Thermocouple Performance During Advanced Gas Reactor Fuel Irradiation Experiments in the Advanced Test Reactor and Out-of-Pile Thermocouple Testing in Support of Such Experiments. United States.
A. J. Palmer, DC Haggard, J. W. Herter, M. Scervini, W. D. Swank, D. L. Knudson, and R. S. Cherry. Fri . "Summary of Thermocouple Performance During Advanced Gas Reactor Fuel Irradiation Experiments in the Advanced Test Reactor and Out-of-Pile Thermocouple Testing in Support of Such Experiments". United States. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1194014.
@article{osti_1194014,
title = {Summary of Thermocouple Performance During Advanced Gas Reactor Fuel Irradiation Experiments in the Advanced Test Reactor and Out-of-Pile Thermocouple Testing in Support of Such Experiments},
author = {A. J. Palmer and DC Haggard and J. W. Herter and M. Scervini and W. D. Swank and D. L. Knudson and R. S. Cherry},
abstractNote = {High temperature gas reactor experiments create unique challenges for thermocouple based temperature measurements. As a result of the interaction with neutrons, the thermoelements of the thermocouples undergo transmutation, which produces a time dependent change in composition and, as a consequence, a time dependent drift of the thermocouple signal. This drift is particularly severe for high temperature platinum-rhodium thermocouples (Types S, R, and B); and tungsten-rhenium thermocouples (Types C and W). For lower temperature applications, previous experiences with type K thermocouples in nuclear reactors have shown that they are affected by neutron irradiation only to a limited extent. Similarly type N thermocouples are expected to be only slightly affected by neutron fluxes. Currently the use of these Nickel based thermocouples is limited when the temperature exceeds 1000°C due to drift related to phenomena other than nuclear irradiation. High rates of open-circuit failure are also typical. Over the past ten years, three long-term Advanced Gas Reactor (AGR) experiments have been conducted with measured temperatures ranging from 700oC – 1200oC. A variety of standard Type N and specialty thermocouple designs have been used in these experiments with mixed results. A brief summary of thermocouple performance in these experiments is provided. Most recently, out of pile testing has been conducted on a variety of Type N thermocouple designs at the following (nominal) temperatures and durations: 1150oC and 1200oC for 2000 hours at each temperature, followed by 200 hours at 1250oC, and 200 hours at 1300oC. The standard Type N design utilizes high purity crushed MgO insulation and an Inconel 600 sheath. Several variations on the standard Type N design were tested, including Haynes 214 alloy sheath, spinel (MgAl2O4) insulation instead of MgO, a customized sheath developed at the University of Cambridge, and finally a loose assembly thermocouple with hard fired alumina insulation and molybdenum sheath. The most current version of the High Temperature Irradiation Resistant Thermocouple (HTIR-TC) based on molybdenum/niobium alloys, and developed at Idaho National Laboratory, was also tested.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2011},
month = {7}
}

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