INITIAL RESULTS FROM INVESTIGATIONS TO ENHANCE THE PERFORMANCE OF HIGH TEMPERATURE IRRADIATION-RESISTANT THERMOCOUPLES

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New fuel, cladding, and structural materials offer the potential for safer and more economic energy from existing reactor and advanced nuclear reactor designs. However, insufficient data are available to characterize these materials in high temperature, radiation conditions. To evaluate candidate material performance, robust instrumentation is needed that can survive these conditions. However, traditional thermocouples either drift due to degradation at high temperatures (above 1100 °C) or due to transmutation of thermocouple components. Thermocouples are needed which can withstand both high temperature and high radiation environments. To address this instrumentation need, the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) recently developed the design and ... continued below

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Crepeau, John; Rempe, Joy; Wilkins, S. Curtis; Knudson, Darrell L.; Condie, Keith G. & Daw, Joshua April 1, 2007.

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New fuel, cladding, and structural materials offer the potential for safer and more economic energy from existing reactor and advanced nuclear reactor designs. However, insufficient data are available to characterize these materials in high temperature, radiation conditions. To evaluate candidate material performance, robust instrumentation is needed that can survive these conditions. However, traditional thermocouples either drift due to degradation at high temperatures (above 1100 °C) or due to transmutation of thermocouple components. Thermocouples are needed which can withstand both high temperature and high radiation environments. To address this instrumentation need, the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) recently developed the design and evaluated the performance of a high temperature radiation-resistant thermocouple that contains commercially-available alloys of molybdenum and niobium (Rempe, 2006). Candidate thermocouple component materials were first identified based on their ability to withstand high temperature and radiation. Then, components were selected based on data obtained from materials interaction tests, ductility investigations, and resolution evaluations. Results from long duration (over 4000 hours) tests at high temperatures (up to 1400 °C) and thermal cycling tests demonstrate the stability and reliability of the INL-developed design. Tests in INL’s Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) are underway to demonstrate the in-pile performance of these thermocouples. However, several options have been identified that could further enhance the lifetime and reliability of the INL-developed thermocouples, allowing their use in higher temperature applications (up to at least 1700 °C). A joint University of Idaho (UI) and INL University Nuclear Energy Research Initiative (UNERI) is underway to investigate these options and ultimately, provide recommendations for an enhanced thermocouple design. This paper presents preliminary results from this UI/INL effort. Results are reported from tests completed to evaluate the ductility, resolution, transient response, and stability of thermocouples made from non-commercially available alloys of molybdenum and niobium. In addition, this paper reports preliminary insights gained by comparing the performance of thermocouples fabricated with alternate techniques and geometries.

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  • 15th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering,Nagoya, Japan,04/22/2007,04/26/2007

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  • Report No.: INL/CON-06-11875
  • Grant Number: DE-AC07-99ID-13727
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 911961
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc881344

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  • April 1, 2007

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  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Nov. 7, 2016, 4:21 p.m.

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Crepeau, John; Rempe, Joy; Wilkins, S. Curtis; Knudson, Darrell L.; Condie, Keith G. & Daw, Joshua. INITIAL RESULTS FROM INVESTIGATIONS TO ENHANCE THE PERFORMANCE OF HIGH TEMPERATURE IRRADIATION-RESISTANT THERMOCOUPLES, article, April 1, 2007; [Idaho Falls, Idaho]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc881344/: accessed July 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.