Advanced fibre optics temperature and radiation sensing in harsh environments

Alexey Faustov, Andrei Goussarov

    Research output


    On-line monitoring of environmental conditions in harsh radiation environments
    and at nuclear facilities in particular becomes more and more important.
    Exploitation of standard electronic sensors is not an ideal solution due to radiation sensitivity and difficulties in installation of multiple sensors. In
    contrast, radiation-hard optical fibres can sustain very high radiation doses
    and naturally other multi-point or distributed monitoring of environmental parameters, such as strain and temperature. Multiple local electro-mechanical sensors can be replaced by just one measuring fibre.
    Although many European countries have recently chosen to decrease the
    impact of nuclear energy, there are more than 400 nuclear power reactors in
    the world [1]. Moreover, a number of countries keep on building new nuclear
    power plants and the present number will likely to grow in future. At the
    same time the safety requirements are getting stricter, in particular after the
    Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, which demands constant monitoring and
    awareness of processes and condition changes in controlled areas in order to
    get authorisations for the nuclear power plants exploitation.
    Electrical cables are inherent components of any nuclear power plant since
    they are used to link power instrumentation end equipment used for monitoring
    and controlling the plant. There are hundreds of kilometres of electrical
    cables and wires of hundreds different types and sizes. They are supposed
    to withstand normal operation conditions as well as design basis events and
    post-design basis events conditions occurring at any time during their service
    life. Economic reasons bring about the need of plant service life extension
    [1]. This means that numerous components including cabling should endure
    significantly longer operational life.
    The biggest concern for the ageing of the cables is related to organic polymer
    materials which are used as electrical insulators, dielectrics, and jacket materials. Most important factors speeding up ageing degradation of the polymers are temperature and ionising radiation. The hazard arising due to ageing degradation is mainly caused by mechanical properties changes, cracking of the insulator which might end up with an electrical failure and with ignition as
    the worst.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Science
    Awarding Institution
    • Université de Mons
    • Goussarov, Andrei, SCK CEN Mentor
    Date of Award5 Sep 2014
    StatePublished - Sep 2014

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