Matching Items (7)

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Radiation detection and imaging: neutrons and electric fields

Description

The work presented in this manuscript has the overarching theme of radiation. The two forms of radiation of interest are neutrons, i.e. nuclear, and electric fields. The ability

The work presented in this manuscript has the overarching theme of radiation. The two forms of radiation of interest are neutrons, i.e. nuclear, and electric fields. The ability to detect such forms of radiation have significant security implications that could also be extended to very practical industrial applications. The goal is therefore to detect, and even image, such radiation sources.

The method to do so revolved around the concept of building large-area sensor arrays. By covering a large area, we can increase the probability of detection and gather more data to build a more complete and clearer view of the environment. Large-area circuitry can be achieved cost-effectively by leveraging the thin-film transistor process of the display industry. With production of displays increasing with the explosion of mobile devices and continued growth in sales of flat panel monitors and television, the cost to build a unit continues to decrease.

Using a thin-film process also allows for flexible electronics, which could be taken advantage of in-house at the Flexible Electronics and Display Center. Flexible electronics implies new form factors and applications that would not otherwise be possible with their single crystal counterparts. To be able to effectively use thin-film technology, novel ways of overcoming the drawbacks of the thin-film process, namely the lower performance scale.

The two deliverable devices that underwent development are a preamplifier used in an active pixel sensor for neutron detection and a passive electric field imaging array. This thesis will cover the theory and process behind realizing these devices.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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Implementing a nuclear power plant model for avaluating [sic] load-following capability on a small grid

Description

A pressurized water reactor (PWR) nuclear power plant (NPP) model is introduced into Positive Sequence Load Flow (PSLF) software by General Electric in order to evaluate the load-following capability of

A pressurized water reactor (PWR) nuclear power plant (NPP) model is introduced into Positive Sequence Load Flow (PSLF) software by General Electric in order to evaluate the load-following capability of NPPs. The nuclear steam supply system (NSSS) consists of a reactor core, hot and cold legs, plenums, and a U-tube steam generator. The physical systems listed above are represented by mathematical models utilizing a state variable lumped parameter approach. A steady-state control program for the reactor, and simple turbine and governor models are also developed. Adequacy of the isolated reactor core, the isolated steam generator, and the complete PWR models are tested in Matlab/Simulink and dynamic responses are compared with the test results obtained from the H. B. Robinson NPP. Test results illustrate that the developed models represents the dynamic features of real-physical systems and are capable of predicting responses due to small perturbations of external reactivity and steam valve opening. Subsequently, the NSSS representation is incorporated into PSLF and coupled with built-in excitation system and generator models. Different simulation cases are run when sudden loss of generation occurs in a small power system which includes hydroelectric and natural gas power plants besides the developed PWR NPP. The conclusion is that the NPP can respond to a disturbance in the power system without exceeding any design and safety limits if appropriate operational conditions, such as achieving the NPP turbine control by adjusting the speed of the steam valve, are met. In other words, the NPP can participate in the control of system frequency and improve the overall power system performance.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Nuclear fission weapon yield, type, and neutron spectrum determination using thin Li-ion batteries

Description

With the status of nuclear proliferation around the world becoming more and more complex, nuclear forensics methods are needed to restrain the unlawful usage of nuclear devices. Lithium-ion batteries are

With the status of nuclear proliferation around the world becoming more and more complex, nuclear forensics methods are needed to restrain the unlawful usage of nuclear devices. Lithium-ion batteries are present ubiquitously in consumer electronic devices nowadays. More importantly, the materials inside the batteries have the potential to be used as neutron detectors, just like the activation foils used in reactor experiments. Therefore, in a nuclear weapon detonation incident, these lithium-ion batteries can serve as sensors that are spatially distributed.

In order to validate the feasibility of such an approach, Monte Carlo N-Particle (MCNP) models are built for various lithium-ion batteries, as well as neutron transport from different fission nuclear weapons. To obtain the precise battery compositions for the MCNP models, a destructive inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) analysis is utilized. The same battery types are irradiated in a series of reactor experiments to validate the MCNP models and the methodology. The MCNP nuclear weapon radiation transport simulations are used to mimic the nuclear detonation incident to study the correlation between the nuclear reactions inside the batteries and the neutron spectra. Subsequently, the irradiated battery activities are used in the SNL-SAND-IV code to reconstruct the neutron spectrum for both the reactor experiments and the weapon detonation simulations.

Based on this study, empirical data show that the lithium-ion batteries have the potential to serve as widely distributed neutron detectors in this simulated environment to (1) calculate the nuclear device yield, (2) differentiate between gun and implosion fission weapons, and (3) reconstruct the neutron spectrum of the device.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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Nonlinear dynamic modeling and simulation of a passively cooled small modular reactor

Description

A nonlinear dynamic model for a passively cooled small modular reactor (SMR) is developed. The nuclear steam supply system (NSSS) model includes representations for reactor core, steam generator, pressurizer, hot

A nonlinear dynamic model for a passively cooled small modular reactor (SMR) is developed. The nuclear steam supply system (NSSS) model includes representations for reactor core, steam generator, pressurizer, hot leg riser and downcomer. The reactor core is modeled with the combination of: (1) neutronics, using point kinetics equations for reactor power and a single combined neutron group, and (2) thermal-hydraulics, describing the heat transfer from fuel to coolant by an overall heat transfer resistance and single-phase natural circulation. For the helical-coil once-through steam generator, a single tube depiction with time-varying boundaries and three regions, i.e., subcooled, boiling, and superheated, is adopted. The pressurizer model is developed based upon the conservation of fluid mass, volume, and energy. Hot leg riser and downcomer are treated as first-order lags. The NSSS model is incorporated with a turbine model which permits observing the power with given steam flow, pressure, and enthalpy as input. The overall nonlinear system is implemented in the Simulink dynamic environment. Simulations for typical perturbations, e.g., control rod withdrawal and increase in steam demand, are run. A detailed analysis of the results show that the steady-state values for full power are in good agreement with design data and the model is capable of predicting the dynamics of the SMR. Finally, steady-state control programs for reactor power and pressurizer pressure are also implemented and their effect on the important system variables are discussed.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Microstructurally explicit simulation of the transport behavior in uranium dioxide

Description

Fission products in nuclear fuel pellets can affect fuel performance as they change the fuel chemistry and structure. The behavior of the fission products and their release mechanisms are important

Fission products in nuclear fuel pellets can affect fuel performance as they change the fuel chemistry and structure. The behavior of the fission products and their release mechanisms are important to the operation of a power reactor. Research has shown that fission product release can occur through grain boundary (GB) at low burnups. Early fission gas release models, which assumed spherical grains with no effect of GB diffusion, did not capture the early stage of the release behavior well. In order to understand the phenomenon at low burnup and how it leads to the later release mechanism, a microstructurally explicit model is needed. This dissertation conducted finite element simulations of the transport behavior using 3-D microstructurally explicit models. It looks into the effects of GB character, with emphases on conditions that can lead to enhanced effective diffusion. Moreover, the relationship between temperature and fission product transport is coupled to reflect the high temperature environment.

The modeling work began with 3-D microstructure reconstruction for three uranium oxide samples with different oxygen stoichiometry: UO2.00 UO2.06 and UO2.14. The 3-D models were created based on the real microstructure of depleted UO2 samples characterized by Electron Backscattering Diffraction (EBSD) combined with serial sectioning. Mathematical equations on fission gas diffusion and heat conduction were studied and derived to simulate the fission gas transport under GB effect. Verification models showed that 2-D elements can be used to model GBs to reduce the number of elements. The effect of each variable, including fuel stoichiometry, temperature, GB diffusion, triple junction diffusion and GB thermal resistance, is verified, and they are coupled in multi-physics simulations to study the transport of fission gas at different radial location of a fuel pellet. It was demonstrated that the microstructural model can be used to incorporate the effect of different physics to study fission gas transport. The results suggested that the GB effect is the most significant at the edge of fuel pellet where the temperature is the lowest. In the high temperature region, the increase in bulk diffusivity due to excess oxygen diminished the effect of GB diffusion.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Microstructural explicit simulation of grain boundary diffusion in depleted UO₂

Description

ABSTRACT The behavior of the fission products, as they are released from fission events during nuclear reaction, plays an important role in nuclear fuel performance. Fission product release can occur

ABSTRACT The behavior of the fission products, as they are released from fission events during nuclear reaction, plays an important role in nuclear fuel performance. Fission product release can occur through grain boundary (GB) at low burnups; therefore, this study simulates the mass transport of fission gases in a 2-D GB network to look into the effects of GB characteristics on this phenomenon, with emphasis on conditions that can lead to percolation. A finite element model was created based on the microstructure of a depleted UO2 sample characterized by Electron Backscattering Diffraction (EBSD). The GBs were categorized into high (D2), low (D1) and bulk diffusivity (Dbulk) based on their misorientation angles and Coincident Site Lattice (CSL) types. The simulation was run using different diffusivity ratios (D2/Dbulk) ranging from 1 to 10^8. The model was set up in three ways: constant temperature case, temperature gradient effects and window methods that mimic the environments in a Light Water Reactor (LWR). In general, the formation of percolation paths was observed at a ratio higher than 10^4 in the measured GB network, which had a 68% fraction of high diffusivity GBs. The presence of temperature gradient created an uneven concentration distribution and decreased the overall mass flux. Finally, radial temperature and fission gas concentration profiles were obtained for a fuel pellet in operation using an approximate 1-D model. The 100 µm long microstructurally explicit model was used to simulate, to the scale of a real UO2 pellet, the mass transport at different radial positions, with boundary conditions obtained from the profiles. Stronger percolation effects were observed at the intermediate and periphery position of the pellet. The results also showed that highest mass flux happens at the edge of a pellet at steady state to accommodate for the sharp concentration drop.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Response of metal structures on chalcogenide thin films to thermal, ultraviolet and microwave processing

Description

Microwave (MW), thermal, and ultraviolet (UV) annealing were used to explore the response of Ag structures on a Ge-Se chalcogenide glass (ChG) thin film as flexible radiation sensors, and Te-Ti

Microwave (MW), thermal, and ultraviolet (UV) annealing were used to explore the response of Ag structures on a Ge-Se chalcogenide glass (ChG) thin film as flexible radiation sensors, and Te-Ti chalcogenide thin films as a material for diffusion barriers in microelectronics devices and processing of metallized Cu. Flexible resistive radiation sensors consisting of Ag electrodes on a Ge20Se80 ChG thin film and polyethylene naphthalate substrate were exposed to UV radiation. The sensors were mounted on PVC tubes of varying radii to induce bending strains and annealed under ambient conditions up to 150 oC. Initial sensor resistance was measured to be ~1012 Ω; after exposure to UV radiation, the resistance was ~104 Ω. Bending strain and low temperature annealing had no significant effect on the resistance of the sensors. Samples of Cu on Te-Ti thin films were annealed in vacuum for up to 30 minutes and were stable up to 500 oC as revealed using Rutherford backscattering spectrometry (RBS) and four-point-probe analysis. X-ray diffractometry (XRD) indicates Cu grain growth up to 500 oC and phase instability of the Te-Ti barrier at 600 oC. MW processing was performed in a 2.45-GHz microwave cavity on Cu/Te-Ti films for up to 30 seconds to induce oxide growth. Using a calibrated pyrometer above the sample, the temperature of the MW process was measured to be below a maximum of 186 oC. Four-point-probe analysis shows an increase in resistance with an increase in MW time. XRD indicates growth of CuO on the sample surface. RBS suggests oxidation throughout the Te-Ti film. Additional samples were exposed to 907 J/cm2 UV radiation in order to ensure other possible electromagnetically induced mechanisms were not active. There were no changes observed using XRD, RBS or four point probing.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013