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State of the art on nuclear heating measurement methods and expected improvements in zero power research reactors

Abstract : The paper focuses on the recent methodological advances suitable for nuclear heating measurements in zero power research reactors. This bibliographical work is part of an experimental approach currently in progress at CEA Cadarache, aiming at optimizing photon heating measurements in low-power research reactors. It provides an overview of the application fields of the most widely used detectors, namely thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLDs) and optically stimulated luminescent dosimeters. Starting from the methodology currently implemented at CEA, the expected improvements relate to the experimental determination of the neutron component, which is a key point conditioning the accuracy of photon heating measurements in mixed $n- \gamma$ field. A recently developed methodology based on the use of $^7$Li and $^6$Li-enriched TLDs, precalibrated both in photon and neutron fields, is a promising approach to deconvolute the two components of nuclear heating. We also investigate the different methods of optical fiber dosimetry, with a view to assess the feasibility of online photon heating measurements, whose primary benefit is to overcome constraints related to the withdrawal of dosimeters from the reactor immediately after irradiation. Moreover, a fibered setup could allow measuring the instantaneous dose rate during irradiation, as well as the delayed photon dose after reactor shutdown. Some insights from potential further developments are given. Obviously, any improvement of the technique has to lead to a measurement uncertainty at least equal to that of the currently used methodology (∼5% at 1s).
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Submitted on : Friday, October 4, 2019 - 3:59:08 PM
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Mael Le Guillou, Adrien Gruel, Christophe Destouches, Patrick Blaise. State of the art on nuclear heating measurement methods and expected improvements in zero power research reactors. EPJ N - Nuclear Sciences & Technologies, EDP Sciences, 2017, 3, pp.11. ⟨10.1051/epjn/2017002⟩. ⟨cea-02305885⟩

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