25 October 1996 Optical fiber semiconductor absorption temperature sensor for temperature monitoring in a gas-cooled nuclear reactor
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Abstract
Optical fiber sensor technology has not yet penetrated the relatively conservative world of nuclear instrumentation. Although the main effect of ionizing radiation on optical fibers is well known to be an increase of the optical absorption, little is known about the response of optical fiber sensors exposed to radiation fields. Our experiments therefore aimed at gaining insight about the behavior of standard commercially available optical fiber sensors in a representative nuclear environment. As experimental target, we have chosen semiconductor absorption optical fiber temperature sensors for monitoring temperature excursions in-situ, within SCK(DOT)CEN's BR1 gas-cooled graphite- moderated nuclear reactor. The sensors are located in the reactor's graphite, where they are exposed to thermal neutron fluxes on the order of 1011 n.cm-2.s-1. Temperature excursions were measured for several reactor cycles, i.e. from reactor start to reactor shut-down, and compared to readings obtained from iron-constantan thermocouples. The sensor performed well until severe embrittlement of the fiber protective jacket caused a premature mechanical failure, after only a few days of reactor operation.
© (1996) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Francis Berghmans, Frans Vos, Marc C. Decreton, Luc Van Den Durpel, Daniel Marloye, Ivo Verwimp, "Optical fiber semiconductor absorption temperature sensor for temperature monitoring in a gas-cooled nuclear reactor", Proc. SPIE 2839, Fiber Optic and Laser Sensors XIV, (25 October 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.255351; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.255351
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