Development of a High Temperature Neutron Flux Detector
Ultra Electronics, Energy,
M.Shaw, B. Campbell, J. Ballantine and K. Roberts are with Ultra Electronics Energy, Unit 7, Lancaster Road, Ferndown Industrial Estate, Dorset, BH21 7SQ. (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Published online: 20 January 2020
Ultra Electronics, Energy is currently the supplier of neutron flux instrumentation to the UKs Advanced Gas Cooled Reactor (AGR) fleet. Neutron flux instrumentation provides a safety critical function, giving operators the fastest indication of any transient power behaviour in a nuclear reactor.
The operating requirements for these sensors in an AGR reactor are higher than those for equivalent instrumentation in a Pressurised Water Reactor (PWR) or Boiling Water Reactor (BWR). Whilst the underlying physics of these devices is the same, the engineering challenges for AGR instrumentation are different. Design and manufacturing processes have to be more precise due to susceptibility of device performance to a number of factors post installation.
The AGR sensor therefore provides a sound engineering platform for the development of an equivalent device for the harsh environments expected in Generation IV reactors.
This paper discusses the capabilities of the Ultra Electronics neutron flux detector manufacturing facility and how these capabilities are being expanded to cover the anticipated operating conditions for Generation IV reactor designs.
A prototype design has been manufactured and mechanically tested, the sensitive coating process has been developed and the Mineral Insulated (MI) signal cable has been tested at elevated temperature.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2020
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.