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NCSD provides communication among nuclear criticality safety professionals through the development of standards, the evolution of training methods and materials, the presentation of technical data and procedures, and the creation of specialty publications. In these ways, the division furthers the exchange of technical information on nuclear criticality safety with the ultimate goal of promoting the safe handling of fissionable materials outside reactors.
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The Sodium Reactor Experiment
In February 1957, construction was completed on the Sodium Reactor Experiment (SRE), a sodium-cooled, graphite-moderated reactor with an output of 20 MWt. The design of theSRE had begun three years earlier in 1954, and construction started in April 1955. On April 25, 1957, the reactor reached criticality, and the SRE operated until February 1964.
A. Heifetz, D. Shribak, X. Huang, B. Wang, J. Saniie, R. Ponciroli, E. R. Koehl, S. Bakhtiari, R. B. Vilim
Nuclear Technology | Volume 207 | Number 4 | April 2021 | Pages 604-616
Technical Paper | doi.org/10.1080/00295450.2020.1782626
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
Transmission of information using elastic ultrasonic waves on existing metallic pipes provides an alternative communication option for a nuclear facility. The advantages of this approach consist of transmitting information through barriers, such as the containment building wall, with minimal modification of the existing hardware. Because bit rates on the order of kilobits per second are achievable, relatively large volumes of data, such as images, can be transmitted. A viable candidate for an ultrasonic communication channel is a stainless steel pipe of the chemical volume control system (CVCS) that penetrates through the reactor containment building wall through a sealed tunnel. To study ultrasonic communication under simulated nuclear facility conditions of high temperature, a test article was developed by installing heating tapes, temperature controllers, and thermal insulation on a laboratory CVCS-like stainless steel pipe. High temperature and radiation-resilient lithium niobate ultrasonic transducers were utilized for information transmission on the heated pipe. The amplitude shift keying (ASK) digital communication protocol was developed and implemented in a GNU Radio software–defined radio environment. A root-raised-cosine filter was introduced to suppress ultrasonic transducer ringing and thus reduce inter-symbol interference. This resulted in the enhancement of the data transmission bit rate compared to information encoding with square pulses. Demonstrations of communication at high temperature included transmission of a 90-KB image at the bit rate of 10 Kbps with a bit error rate of 10−3 across a 6-ft-long straight pipe heated up to 230°C. Additional preliminary studies were conducted to evaluate ultrasonic communication system resilience to environmental degradation and damage.