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Acoustic Leak Detection Technology for Water/Steam Small Leaks and Microleaks into Sodium to Protect an SFR Steam Generator

Tae-Joon Kim, Valeriy S. Yugay, Ji-Young Jeong, Jong-Man Kim, Byeung-Ho Kim, Tae-Ho Lee, Yong-Bum Lee, Yeong-Il Kim, Dohee Hahn

Nuclear Technology / Volume 170 / Number 2 / May 2010 / Pages 360-369

Technical Note / Thermal Hydraulics /

This technical note presents the results of an experimental study of the role of water in sodium leak noise spectrum formation and at various water/steam leak rates of <1.0 g/s. The conditions and ranges for the existence of bubbling and jetting modes in water/steam outflow into circulating sodium through an injector device were determined to simulate a defect in the wall of the heat-transmitting tube of a sodium-water steam generator (SG). Based on experimental leak noise data, the simple dependency of the acoustic signal level on the leak rate of a microleak and small leaks at different frequency bands was presented for the principal analysis to develop an acoustic leak detection methodology for a KALIMER-600, 600-MW(thermal) reactor (K-600) SG, with the operational experiences for noise analysis and measurements of the Bystry neutron (fast neutron) reactor BN-600. Finally, the methodology was tested with the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) acoustic leak detection system using sodium-water reaction signals of the Institute of Physics and Power Engineering and background noise of the Prototype Fast Reactor (PFR) superheater for methodology development of KAERI, and it was able to detect a leak rate of under 1 g/s and a signal-to-background noise ratio of -22 dB, using this system and methodology.

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