Containment System for Heating and Off-Gassing

Due to environmental concerns and the decreasing supply of fossil fuels, there is
substantial demand for nuclear-based energy production. Nuclear energy now provides about 10% of the world's electricity from about 440 power reactors and is the second largest source of low-carbon power. In addition, over 50 smaller countries utilize nuclear energy in about 220 research-size reactors. These reactors are used to produce medical and industrial isotopes and several other purposes.

The Need

It is essential to meet the safeguard requirements in liquid-fueled molten salt reactors, fuel salt transportation, and fuel cycle processes and to develop effective methods for measuring and monitoring the mass of molten fuel salt or coolant salt. However, due to the complex and dynamic nature of liquid-fueled molten salt reactors, such as the diversity in fuel types, fuel processing, and fuel cycles, existing approaches are complex and challenging to obtain.

The Technology

This technology describes a containment system for heating and off-gassing radioactive materials to determine radioactive tracer dilution (RTD), a measurement of the radioactivity of isotopes. The device accommodates a 20 mL sample in a sealed, high-temperature chamber. In practice, the chamber is pierced and vented with a stainless needle that controls off-gassing and measurement. Thus far, the inventors have prototyped the device and shown proof of concept and sample extraction.

Commercial Applications

This invention can be used with nuclear energy facilities to measure the radioactivity of isotopes for the following purposes: nuclear medicine and medical research, environmental monitoring, radioactive waste management, industrial processes,
scientific research, regulatory compliance, and pharmaceutical production.


Compared to RTD measurement methods, this invention provides a safe and potentially more accurate means for radioactivity.

Patent Protection

  • U.S. Provisional patent application filed

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