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Title: Neutron tomography of axially symmetric objects using 14 MeV neutrons from a portable neutron generator

In nuclear boiling water reactor cores, the distribution of water and steam (void) is essential for both safety and efficiency reasons. In order to enhance predictive capabilities, void distribution assessment is performed in two-phase test-loops under reactor-relevant conditions. This article proposes the novel technique of fast-neutron tomography using a portable deuterium-tritium neutron generator to determine the time-averaged void distribution in these loops. Fast neutrons have the advantage of high transmission through the metallic structures and pipes typically concealing a thermal-hydraulic test loop, while still being fairly sensitive to the water/void content. However, commercially available fast-neutron generators also have the disadvantage of a relatively low yield and fast-neutron detection also suffers from relatively low detection efficiency. Fortunately, some loops are axially symmetric, a property which can be exploited to reduce the amount of data needed for tomographic measurement, thus limiting the interrogation time needed. In this article, three axially symmetric test objects depicting a thermal-hydraulic test loop have been examined; steel pipes with outer diameter 24 mm, thickness 1.5 mm, and with three different distributions of the plastic material POM inside the pipes. Data recorded with the FANTOM fast-neutron tomography instrument have been used to perform tomographic reconstructions to assess theirmore » radial material distribution. Here, a dedicated tomographic algorithm that exploits the symmetry of these objects has been applied, which is described in the paper. Results are demonstrated in 20 rixel (radial pixel) reconstructions of the interior constitution and 2D visualization of the pipe interior is demonstrated. The local POM attenuation coefficients in the rixels were measured with errors (RMS) of 0.025, 0.020, and 0.022 cm{sup −1}, solid POM attenuation coefficient. The accuracy and precision is high enough to provide a useful indication on the flow mode, and a visualization of the radial material distribution can be obtained. A benefit of this system is its potential to be mounted at any axial height of a two-phase test section without requirements for pre-fabricated entrances or windows. This could mean a significant increase in flexibility of the void distribution assessment capability at many existing two-phase test loops.« less
Authors:
; ; ;  [1]
  1. Department of Physics and Astronomy, Division of Applied Nuclear Physics, Uppsala University, Lägerhyddsgatan 1, 751 20 Uppsala (Sweden)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22320369
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Review of Scientific Instruments; Journal Volume: 85; Journal Issue: 8; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; 21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; ACCURACY; ALGORITHMS; ATTENUATION; AXIAL SYMMETRY; BWR TYPE REACTORS; EFFICIENCY; FAST NEUTRONS; NEUTRON DETECTION; NEUTRON GENERATORS; PIPES; PLASTICS; REACTOR CORES; SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION; STEAM; STEELS; TEST FACILITIES; THERMAL HYDRAULICS; TOMOGRAPHY; VOIDS; WATER