The Design and Development of a Stress Corrosion Cracking Sensor for Spent Nuclear Fuel Containers

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Darryl Butt


Nuclear fuel is responsible for providing nearly 20% of the United States’ annual energy demands. An essential part of the nuclear fuel cycle, is the safe management and storage of radioactive waste. Some radioactive waste is stored within stainless steel canisters at the reactor site for up to 100 years as part of an engineered containment and storage system. To monitor the degradation of these canisters a novel sensor system has been developed. The design incorporates a humidity sensor, thermocouple, a set of stainless steel coupons and a modified circuit assembly to gather data remotely. Initial testing to verify the use of these stainless steel samples has been completed in custom designed test fixtures similar to those used in the sensor module. Testing has been carried out in an array of different solutions including hydrochloric acid and concentrated salt water. A final atmospheric testing plan has been initialized to demonstrate proof of concept. After demonstration, if successful, the sensor system will be mounted to dry storage containers to monitor real time conditions of the concrete-encased canisters and ensure long term safety.

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