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    Detecting Acoustic Emission in Large Liquid Metal Cooled Fast Breeder Reactors

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    Research at Argonne National Laboratory on acoustic emission and closely related areas is oriented to goals of the liquid metal cooled fast breeder reactor (LMFBR) program. These goals include acoustic monitoring of reactor core and power plant components, acoustic detection of boiling in liquid sodium, and acoustic emission testing of materials at elevated temperatures. For monitoring of sodium-filled components, several types of acoustic emission sensors are being developed for operation in sodium at temperatures to 650 C. These sensors contain the high temperature, radiation resistant, piezoelectric material, lithium niobate which is clamped or bonded to the sensor housing.

    Reactor components have been monitored acoustically with both high temperature (620 C rating) accelerometers and with standard accelerometers. The acoustic surveillance tests have shown: (1) flowrate-dependent noise in a sodium-cooled nuclear reactor (EBR-II) and in a sodium component test facility (CCTL); (2) sodium-oxide binding within an EBR-II primary pump; and (3) a loose drain tube in the EBR-II primary sodium to secondary sodium intermediate heat exchanger.


    breeder reactors, acoustics, emission, piezoelectric transducers, acoustic surveillance, liquid metal cooled reactors, power reactors (nuclear), high temperature tests, ultrasonic tests, niobates, cracking (fracturing), plastic deformation, cavitation noise, elastic waves, crack initiation, crack propagation

    Author Information:

    Anderson, TT
    Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne

    Gavin, AP
    Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne

    Karvinen, JR
    Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne

    Price, CC
    Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne

    Reimann, KJ
    Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne

    Committee/Subcommittee: E07.04

    DOI: 10.1520/STP35392S