Present day electronics technologies for sensing, signal processing, and communications in nuclear power plants are not well suited for high radiation and high temperature placement, such as near the reactor core. As a result, sensing and communication technologies involving electronics are generally implemented remotely, utilize lengthy wired connections, depend on high-cost maintenance or replacement plans, or are omitted altogether. Most present-day commercial radiation hardened electronics offerings are largely directed towards low earth orbit (satellite) applications. Consequently, these designs seldom exceed a few hundred krad total ionizing dose (TID) as they are primarily designed to exhibit resistance to single-event effects (SEEs), making them unsuitable for near-core reactor application. New technologies are needed to advance this field and improve the process of reactor sensing and control. This panel will provide an opportunity to further identify and address the important issues associated with electronics placement near the reactor core. Points of discussion will include general identification of the sensing requirements for reactor environments including justifications for placement in particularly harsh zones, reviewing radiation effects on electronic devices, identification and assessment of the state-of-the-art in rad-hard and high temperature electronics and present limitations, and methods forward for improving electronics suitability for near-core application. Additionally, availability and dissemination of data for commercial and emerging sensors, electronics, and systems will be discussed. The realization of higher radiation and temperature resistant electronics will enable more prolific use of sensing, processing, control, and communication technologies in near- or in-core locations resulting in improved safety, efficiency and cost for in-service reactors and future advanced reactor designs.


  • Troy Unruh (INL)
  • Philip Neudeck (NASA Glenn Research Center)
  • Kyle Reed (ORNL)
  • Inyong Kwon (KAERI)

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