Experimental Design for Evaluating Selected Nondestructive Measurement Technologies


The harsh environments in advanced reactors (AdvRx) increase the possibility of degradation of safety-critical passive components, and therefore pose a particular challenge for deployment and extended operation of these concepts. Nondestructive evaluation technologies are an essential element for obtaining information on passive component condition in AdvRx, with the development of sensor technologies for nondestructively inspecting AdvRx passive components identified as a key need. Given the challenges posed by AdvRx environments and the potential needs for reducing the burden posed by periodic in-service inspection of hard-to-access and hard-to-replace components, a viable solution may be provided by online condition monitoring of components. This report identifies the key challenges that will need to be overcome for sensor development in this context, and documents an experimental plan for sensor development, test, and evaluation. The focus of initial research and development is on sodium fast reactors, with the eventual goal of the research being developing the necessary sensor technology, quantifying sensor survivability and long-term measurement reliability for nondestructively inspecting critical components. Materials for sensor development that are likely to withstand the harsh environments are described, along with a status on the fabrication of reference specimens, and the planned approach for design and evaluation of the sensor and measurement technology.