In-service inspection approaches for lead-cooled nuclear reactors
Bowen, James C.
Smith, Craig F.
Luscombe, James H.
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Lead-cooled fast reactors (LFRs) present design challenges in accomplishing in-service inspections (ISIs) due to the opacity, corrosiveness, and high operating temperature of lead. Current technology can adjust to accomplish ISIs for LFRs. The inspections identified and outlined in this thesis are intended to address Nuclear Regulatory Commission requirements for advanced reactor design concerning ISIs. This research identifies ISI requirements for advanced reactors such as the LFR, assesses current ISI techniques on functioning and proposed reactors, and tests the physics theory, ensuring compatibility with LFRs. Techniques evaluated were considered applicable to LFRs, and in general, require further development. Acoustic, thermal, and eddy-current testing methods were individually evaluated for use in an LFR and compared to the operating conditions of functioning and proposed reactors. Each method was found to be potentially feasible for application to ISI of LFRs based on the consideration of basic physics theory. Overall, this thesis provides an outline of technologies that can accomplish ISIs, making LFRs a more viable option for meeting future energy demands.
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