Evaluation of Low Dose Silicon Carbide Temperature Monitors
Idaho National Laboratory
2 SCK-CEN Belgian Nuclear Research Centre
Published online: 20 January 2020
Thermocouples are generally used to provide real-time temperature indications in instrumented tests performed at materials and test reactors. Melt wires or paint spots are often included in such tests as an independent technique of detecting peak temperatures incurred during irradiation. In addition, less expensive static capsule tests, which have no leads attached for real-time data transmission, often rely on melt wires and paint spots as a post-irradiation technique for peak temperature indication. Unfortunately, these techniques are limited in that they can only detect whether a single temperature is or is not exceeded. Silicon carbide (SiC) monitors are advantageous because a single monitor can be used to determine the peak temperature reached within a relatively broad range (200 – 800°C). Although the use of SiC monitors was proposed more than five decades ago, the ultimate performance limits of this technique are not fully understood. The Nuclear Science User Facilities (NSUF) is the United States Department of Energy Office of Nuclear Energy's only designated nuclear energy user facility. Its mission is to provide nuclear energy researchers access to world-class capabilities and to facilitate the advancement of nuclear science and technology. This mission is supported by providing access to state-of-the-art experimental irradiation testing, post irradiation examination facilities, and high performance computing capabilities as well as technical and scientific assistance for the design and execution of projects. As part of an NSUF project, low dose silicon carbide monitors were irradiated in the Belgian Reactor 2 and were then evaluated both at the SCK•CEN and at Idaho National Laboratory’s High Temperature Test Laboratory to determine their peak temperature achieved during irradiation. The technical significance of this work was that the monitors were irradiated to a dose that was significantly less than recommended in published literature. This paper will discuss the evaluation process, the irradiation test, and the performance of the low dose silicon carbide temperature monitors.
Key words: In-pile instrumentation / temperature sensor
© 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.