High-intensity power-resolved radiation imaging of an operational nuclear reactor

Article English OPEN
Beaumont, Jonathan S. ; Mellor, Matthew P. ; Villa, Mario ; Joyce, Malcolm J. (2015)
  • Publisher: Nature Pub. Group
  • Journal: Nature Communications, volume 6 (eissn: 2041-1723)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.1038/ncomms9592, pmc: PMC4633948
  • Subject: Article
    arxiv: Physics::Geophysics | Physics::Plasma Physics | Physics::Chemical Physics

Knowledge of the neutron distribution in a nuclear reactor is necessary to ensure the safe and efficient burnup of reactor fuel. Currently these measurements are performed by in-core systems in what are extremely hostile environments and in most reactor accident scenarios it is likely that these systems would be damaged. Here we present a compact and portable radiation imaging system with the ability to image high-intensity fast-neutron and gamma-ray fields simultaneously. This system has been deployed to image radiation fields emitted during the operation of a TRIGA test reactor allowing a spatial visualization of the internal reactor conditions to be obtained. The imaged flux in each case is found to scale linearly with reactor power indicating that this method may be used for power-resolved reactor monitoring and for the assay of ongoing nuclear criticalities in damaged nuclear reactors.
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