Nuclear, O&M

Pitt granted $987,000 to study nuclear reactor safety, operational efficiency

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Nuclear Energy University Programs (NEUP) awarded a $987,000 grant to the University of Pittsburgh to develop sensor networks that improve safety and operational efficiency in nuclear reactors and fuel cycle systems.

The fiber optical sensor networks will have up to 100 sensors per meter in critical locations, which will provide operators with information to quickly isolate problems and implement solutions at minimal cost. Scientists at Corning will help to develop radiation-hard, application-specific air-hole microstructural fibers for multi-parameter measurements of temperature, pressure and hydrogen concentration. Researchers at Pitt will also work with engineers at Westinghouse Electric Co. to evaluate performance in both normal and post-accident scenarios, and to assess practical applications for sensor implementation in nuclear power systems.

Pitt’s grant was part of $11 million awarded for 12 research and development projects led by U.S. universities, DOE national laboratories and industry in support of the Nuclear Energy Enabling Technologies Crosscutting Technology Development Program (NEET CTD) to address crosscutting nuclear challenges.

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