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As part of the Advanced Test Reactor National Scientific User Facility (ATR NSUF) program, the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) has developed in-house capabilities to fabricate, test, and qualify new and enhanced sensors for irradiation testing. To meet recent customer requests, an array of temperature monitoring options is now available to ATR users. The method selected is determined by test requirements and budget. Melt wires are the simplest and least expensive option for monitoring temperature. INL has recently verified the melting temperature of a collection of materials with melt temperatures ranging from 100 to 1000 C with a differential scanning calorimeter installed at INL’s High Temperature Test Laboratory (HTTL). INL encapsulates these melt wires in quartz or metal tubes. In the case of quartz tubes, multiple wires can be encapsulated in a single 1.6 mm diameter tube. The second option available to ATR users is a silicon carbide temperature monitor. The benefit of this option is that a single small monitor (typically 1 mm x 1 mm x 10 mm or 1 mm diameter x 10 mm length) can be used to detect peak irradiation temperatures ranging from 200 to 800 C. Equipment has been installed at INL’s HTTL to completemore » post-irradiation resistivity measurements on SiC monitors, a technique that has been found to yield the most accurate temperatures from these monitors. For instrumented tests, thermocouples may be used. In addition to Type-K and Type-N thermocouples, a High Temperature Irradiation Resistant ThermoCouple (HTIR-TC) was developed at the HTTL that contains commercially-available doped molybdenum paired with a niobium alloy thermoelements. Long duration high temperature tests, in furnaces and in the ATR and other MTRs, demonstrate that the HTIR-TC is accurate up to 1800 C and insensitive to thermal neutron interactions. Thus, degradation observed at temperatures above 1100 C with Type K and N thermocouples and decalibration due to transmutation with tungsten-rhenium and platinum rhodium thermocouples can be avoided. INL is also developing an Ultrasonic Thermometry (UT) capability. In addition to small size, UT’s offer several potential advantages over other temperature sensors. Measurements may be made near the melting point of the sensor material, potentially allowing monitoring of temperatures up to 3000 C. In addition, because no electrical insulation is required, shunting effects are avoided. Most attractive, however, is the ability to introduce acoustic discontinuities to the sensor, as this enables temperature measurements at several points along the sensor length. As discussed in this paper, the suite of temperature monitors offered by INL is not only available to ATR users, but also to users at other MTRs.« less
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Conference: 9th International Temperature Symposium,Los Angeles, California, USA,03/19/2012,03/23/2012
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Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
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Country of Publication:
United States
46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY Advanced Test Reactor; In-Pile Measurement; Temperature