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NON-INVASIVE IN-SITU IMAGING OF INTERIOR OF NUCLEAR REACTORS

United States Patent Application

20150279489
A1
View the Complete Application at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Los Alamos National Laboratory - Visit the Technology Transfer Division Website
Techniques, systems, and devices are disclosed for non-invasive monitoring and imaging of nuclear fuel inside a nuclear reactor using muon detector arrays. In one aspect, these detector arrays are placed outside the reactor vessel or building for investigating the reactors without access to the cores, therefore the imaging process is non-invasive. In some implementation, these detector arrays measure both muon scattering and absorption to enable imaging and characterizing not only the very high-Z fuel materials, but also other materials in the reactor, thereby obtaining a more complete picture of reactor status. When applied to damaged reactors, the disclosed proposed techniques, systems, and devices, through the process of providing an image, can reveal the presence (or absence) of damage to fuel rod assemblies or puddles of molten fuel at the bottom of the containment vessel, thus providing crucial information to guide decisions about remedial actions.
Milner, Edward Casteel (Santa Fe, NM), Borozdin, Konstantin N. (Los Alamos, NM), Morris, Christopher L. (Los Alamos, NM), Miyadera, Haruo (Los Alamos, NM), Perry, John Oliver (Los Alamos, NM)
LOS ALAMOS NATIONAL SECURITY, LLC (Los Alamos NM)
14/ 676,636
April 1, 2015
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT [0002] This invention was made with government support under Contract No. DE-AC52-06NA25396 between the United States Department of Energy (DOE) and Los Alamos National Security, LLC for the operation of Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). The government has certain rights in the invention.