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Annual Report

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In nuclear power plants and accelerator driven systems (ADS) for nuclear waste treatment, it is important to monitor the coolant flow rate in the reactor core and pipe-line. In such a strong irradiation, high pressure, and temperature environment, the existing flow measurement techniques (such as Electromagnetic flow meters, Ultrasonic flow meters, Turbine flow meters, etc.) are not accurate and reliable.

The measurement of flow rates (mass flow rates or volume flow rate) plays a notable role in monitoring and controlling the experimental conditions. The bulk flow rates can be obtained through direct methods, which measure the amount of discharged fluids over a period of time. Alternatively, flow rates can also be obtained using indirect methods. For example, they can be derived through the measurement of fluid velocities. So far, the velocities have been found in strong correlation with signals of pressure, temperature, optical wave, ultrasonic wave, etc. based on diverse physical principles. Note that with some exceptions, the flow rate measurement systems require calibration or empirical corrections, especially after long term operation. In the application of liquid metal coolant flow rate measurement, the high temperature, pressure, and corrosion environment limit most flow meter devices from being used in long term and maintenance-free operation.

As the temperature measurement technique is well developed for high temperature applications, one flow rate measurement technique is proposed based on the correlated thermal signals. This way, the measurement errors due to long term corrosion will be easily counteracted using this proposed method. Correlated thermal signals are measured to deduce the flow velocity.


Accelerator-driven systems – Cooling; Flow meters; Nuclear power plants – Cooling; Temperature control; Temperature measurements


Energy Systems | Heat Transfer, Combustion | Nuclear Engineering | Oil, Gas, and Energy