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Title: Synergistic Smart Fuel For In-pile Nuclear Reactor Measurements

In March 2011, an earthquake of magnitude 9.0 on the Richter scale struck Japan with its epicenter on the northeast coast, near the Tohoku region. In addition to the immense physical destruction and casualties across the country, several nuclear power plants (NPP) were affected. It was the Fukushima Daiichi NPP that experienced the most severe and irreversible damage. The earthquake brought the reactors at Fukushima to an automatic shutdown and because the power transmission lines were damaged, emergency diesel generators (EDGs) were activated to ensure that there was continued cooling of the reactors and spent fuel pools. The situation was being successfully managed until the tsunami hit about forty-five minutes later with a maximum wave height of approximately 15 m. The influx of water submerged the EDGs, the electrical switchgear, and dc batteries, resulting in the total loss of power to the reactors.2 At this point, the situation became critical. There was a loss of the sensors and instrumentation within the reactor that could have provided valuable information to guide the operators to make informed decisions and avoid the unfortunate events that followed. In the light of these events, we have developed and tested a potential self-powered thermoacoustic system, whichmore » will have the ability to serve as a temperature sensor and can transmit data independently of electronic networks. Such a device is synergistic with the harsh environment of the nuclear reactor as it utilizes the heat from the nuclear fuel to provide the input power.« less
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Resource Relation:
Conference: INTERNATIONAL NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE CONFERENCE Global 2013,Salt Lake City, UT, USA,09/29/2013,10/03/2013
Research Org:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
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Country of Publication:
United States
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; 46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY acoustics; fission gas; microstructure; nondestructive; nuclear; self powered; Sensor; synergistic; thermal; thermoacoustics; Thermometry; wireless