Scientific direction Development of key enabling technologies
Transfer of knowledge to industry

PhD : selection by topics

Technological challenges >> Nuclear physics
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Study, evaluation and validation of the performance of a boron measurement system using neutron absorption

Département Métrologie Instrumentation et Information (LIST)

Laboratoire Capteurs et Architectures Electroniques



The concentration of boron in the primary-circuit fluid of a nuclear reactor must be finely controlled in order to guarantee its safety. Indeed, an excursion of the boron concentration could lead to a risk of criticality. An online nuclear-measurement system is therefore required to monitor the boron concentration in the primary reactor fluid. Such a system is commonly referred to as a "boronmeter". The proposed thesis subject is made up of three lines of research. The first line aims to study by Monte Carlo simulation, and then conceptualise and theoretically formalise the behaviour of the two main performance criteria (counting rate and contrast) of the boronmeter under the influence of its different characteristics. The second line of research aims at evaluating and experimentally validating the interpretation of the effects brought into play within the boronmeter and the theoretical concepts formulated. This experimental work will be carried out in close collaboration with the Laboratoire National Henri Becquerel (LNHB). The third line of this thesis aims to conceive an innovative boronmeter designed to measure the boron concentration in the primary fluid as close as possible to the core of the nuclear reactor. Such a system would make it possible to identify as quickly as possible an anomaly in the boron-concentration value at the reactor core. However, the constraints imposed by such a measurement environment will have to be taken into account, and a suitable measurement methodology will be developed. Different approaches to temperature and fluid-flow compensation will be the subject of in-depth investigations.

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