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Energy Harvesting for Nuclear Waste Sensing and Monitoring

[+] Author Affiliations
Yongjia Wu, Jackson Klein, Hanchen Zhou, Lei Zuo

Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

Paper No. DETC2018-85925, pp. V01AT02A008; 10 pages
  • ASME 2018 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 1A: 38th Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, August 26–29, 2018
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5172-2
  • Copyright © 2018 by ASME


Monitoring the parameters inside enclosed metal vessels or thick concrete walls as found in dry storage canisters and nuclear reactor vessels is crucial to ensuring safe reactor operation and fuel security. In this paper, two energy harvesters, namely the gamma radiation energy harvester and the thermal energy harvester, were built to power the wireless through-wall and communications for in-situ monitoring of interior conditions in nuclear canisters. The gamma radiation energy harvester was found to have an energy output of 17.8 mW during the first-year canister storage. However, this energy harvester was burdensome, and the performance deteriorates rapidly with time. The thermal energy harvester was thought to be a more practical solution. The power output of the energy harvester was about 93.9 mW in simulation and 46.3 mW in the experiment after 50-years storage in the canister. The power output of this energy harvester can be further scaled by adding TEGs at the cost of larger size.

Copyright © 2018 by ASME



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