nuclear fuel acoustic pressure measurement

The 2-page poster and paper images below describe a nondestructive method to measure the pressure of helium in sealed nuclear fuel rods using an acoustic resonance with the sound traveling circumferentially in the helium, around the plenum spring. The poster was presented at the 2016 April meeting of the American Physical Society in Salt Lake City. (abstract reference))

Session T1: Poster Session III (2:00pm - 5:00pm)

2:00 PM–2:00 PM, Monday, April 18, 2016

Room: South Foyer

Abstract: T1.00005 : Pressure Sensitive Acoustic Ring Resonance in Nuclear Fuel Rods

Author: John Dooley (Retired)

A pressure sensitive four-antinode acoustic resonance has been observed in nuclear fuel cladding containing a helical plenum spring. Sound is generated by an external piezoelectric transducer pressed against the wall. Sound is detected by a similar transducer located 90 degrees away from the generator transducer. The resonance amplitude is characterized by its response to pressure (0-4atm), temperature (16C-27C) and molecular weight (He and Ar). The resonant frequency and the temperature dependence agree qualitatively with predictions made by assuming that the resonance is an acoustic version of the Sagnac interferometer. The resonance amplitude at 4 atm absolute is approximately 4 times the amplitude at 1 atm absolute. The pressure sensitivity could be useful for quality control of newly assembled nuclear fuel rods.

The poster presented at the APS meeting is displayed in two figures below. A more detailed discussion is printed below the two poster figures.