Nuclear heating measurements by gamma and neutron thermometers
R. Van Nieuwenhove is with the Nuclear Research Centre SCK•CEN, B-2400 Mol, Belgium (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
L. Vermeeren is with the Nuclear Research Centre SCK•CEN, B-2400 Mol, Belgium (e-mail: email@example.com)
Published online: 20 January 2020
A gamma thermometer suitable for very high gamma heating levels (up to 20 W/g) has been designed and modelled by means of detailed finite element calculations. Based on a sensitivity analysis, the predicted accuracy of this gamma thermometer is better than 5 %. A novel miniaturized gamma thermometer is proposed in which a single thermocouple is used as the gamma absorption element, allowing a reduction of the sensor diameter down to 3 mm.
Monte Carlo calculations (by MCNP) have been performed to assess the relative contribution of neutrons to the nuclear heating in a gamma thermometer. Calculations have been performed for gamma thermometers with an inner body made of various materials, such as stainless steel, tungsten, molybdenum and rhodium. By using gamma thermometers made of different materials, it will be possible to deduce the nuclear heating rates in these materials and also to separate out the neutron and gamma heating contributions. The Monte Carlo calculations show that nuclear heating of rhodium is mainly due to neutrons, converting the rhodium gamma thermometer effectively in a neutron thermometer. The sensitivities of the gamma thermometers with W, Mo or Rh as heated materials have been modelled by finite element calculations. It is found that both the Mo and the Rh based sensor have a very linear response up to a nuclear heating of 20 W/g.
Key words: Nuclear measurements / Gamma-ray detectors
© 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.