Researching optical fiber-based gamma thermometers to promote safety and sustainability

An array of fiber optics cables. Image: Getty Images

Dr. Pavel Tsvetkov, an associate professor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering at Texas A&M University, is exploring novel sensors for extreme environments by taking advantage of fiber optics-based detection approaches in mixed radiation/thermal fields. Fiber optics sensors offer a uniquely distributed option in situations where traditional sensors would fail or provide only limited information.

Tsvetkov’s team will develop an optical fiber-based gamma thermometer (OFGBT) with big data sensor capabilities in collaboration with Drs. Thomas Blue and Tunc Aldemir of The Ohio State University and Dr. Diego Mandelli of Idaho National Laboratory.

“The newly developed OFGBT will have the smallest possible sensor footprint in the core, ensuring there is no disruption of the reactor while an innovative big data sensor will transmit large amounts of data,” said Tsvetkov. “OFGBTs and their data analytics will provide a safe and improved solution to the monitoring of the spatial power distribution within the core, leading to an increase in plant safety and efficiency. In addition, use of fiber optics will minimize the instrumentation decommissioning footprint.”

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