Improving Sensors for Nuclear Crash Tests
To preserve our world, we need to reduce our fossil fuel dependence and develop carbon-free power. Currently, nuclear power accounts for 55% of the clean energy in our country. New nuclear materials are tested at research reactors including those at Idaho National Laboratory. Research reactors function as “crash tests.” Just as cars are crash tested to ensure high safety standards, nuclear research strives to continually maximize safety. Sensors are required to record the results of these crash tests. This requires that the sensors survive the same high temperatures and irradiation that candidate nuclear materials are subjected to. My research develops a computational method to better understand nuclear sensors. With this method, sensor performance can be predicted under the extreme research reactor environment. By better understanding the sensors, we can continue to improve their durability and accuracy. This will aid in the ongoing development of nuclear power.