Temperature is a key process variable at any nuclear power plant (NPP). The harsh reactor environment causes all sensor properties to drift over time. At the higher temperatures of advanced NPPs the drift occurs more rapidly. Johnson noise is a fundamental expression of temperature and as such is immune to drift in a sensor’s physical condition. In and near the core, only Johnson noise thermometry (JNT) and radiation pyrometry offer the possibility for long-term, high-accuracy temperature measurement due to their fundamental natures. Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) place a higher value on long-term stability in their temperature measurements in that they produce less power per reactor core and thus cannot afford as much instrument recalibration labor as their larger brethren. The purpose of the current ORNL-led project, conducted under the Instrumentation, Controls, and Human-Machine Interface (ICHMI) research pathway of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced SMR Research and Development (R&D) program, is to develop and demonstrate a drift free Johnson noise-based thermometer suitable for deployment near core in advanced SMR plants.
Johnson Noise Thermometry for Drift-Free Measurements
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Britton, C, Bull Ezell, ND, Roberts, M, Holcomb, D, & Wood, R. "Johnson Noise Thermometry for Drift-Free Measurements." Proceedings of the ASME 2014 Small Modular Reactors Symposium. ASME 2014 Small Modular Reactors Symposium. Washington, DC, USA. April 15–17, 2014. V001T02A010. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/SMR2014-3405
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