9 May 2012 Distributed optical fibre temperature measurements in a low dose rate radiation environment based on Rayleigh backscattering
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Abstract
On-line monitoring of environmental conditions in nuclear facilities is becoming a more and more important problem. Standard electronic sensors are not the ideal solution due to radiation sensitivity and difficulties in installation of multiple sensors. In contrast, radiation-hard optical fibres can sustain very high radiation doses and also naturally offer multi-point or distributed monitoring of external perturbations. Multiple local electro-mechanical sensors can be replaced by just one measuring fibre. At present, there are over four hundred operational nuclear power plants (NPPs) in the world 1. Operating experience has shown that ineffective control of the ageing degradation of major NPP components can threaten plant safety and also plant life. Among those elements, cables are vital components of I&C systems in NPPs. To ensure their safe operation and predict remaining life, environmental monitoring is necessary. In particular, temperature and radiation dose are considered to be the two most important parameters. The aim of this paper is to assess experimentally the feasibility of optical fibre temperature measurements in a low doserate radiation environment, using a commercially available reflectometer based on Rayleigh backscattering. Four different fibres were installed in the Sub-Pile Room of the BR2 Material testing nuclear reactor in Mol, Belgium. This place is man-accessible during the reactor shut-down, allowing easy fibre installation. When the reactor operates, the dose-rates in the room are in a range 0.005-5 Gy/h with temperatures of 40-60 °C, depending on the location. Such a surrounding is not much different to some "hot" environments in NPPs, where I&C cables are located.
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A. Faustov, A. Gussarov, M. Wuilpart, A. A. Fotiadi, L. B. Liokumovich, O. I. Kotov, I. O. Zolotovskiy, A. L. Tomashuk, T. Deschoutheete, P. Mégret, "Distributed optical fibre temperature measurements in a low dose rate radiation environment based on Rayleigh backscattering", Proc. SPIE 8439, Optical Sensing and Detection II, 84390C (9 May 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.922082; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.922082
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