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Please help me in choosing a nuclear project related to electronics

  1. Feb 1, 2013 #1
    Hello all,

    I am currently pursuing my MSc in Nuclear engineering. My background is in BSc Electrical/electronics engineering therefore I am inclined to go for some project related to nuclear engineering having roots in electrical/electronics/control engineering.

    It would be great if somebody can suggest some project titles. For example, problems related to nuclear industry like one of my mates was working upon making a BF3 detector more effective etc.

    Also, projects related to physics having some involvement of electronics would be fine.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 1, 2013 #2
    On the CANDU reactor control room system, all their indicators used old neon lamps that occasionally burn out. It would be really useful if someone could design a long lasting LED replacement which could plug right into the existing neon lamp socket without any modifications.
  4. Feb 9, 2013 #3
    Re: Please help me in choosing a nuclear project related to electronic

    This idea isn't quite nuclear engineering and might be more suited for someone still in school. But I'll mention it anyways.

    A fun project that covers both fields would be a true random number generator using radioactive decay to stimulate a sensor. You generate random bits that you feed into a register space that can be read out by a computer or other device. There is a fair amount of information on the process out there if you research it. Some very easy and some more challenging. It would make a good project.

    More applicable projects could be along the lines of improving the reliability of sensors in disaster conditions, better redundancy, in situ calibration and verification of sensors.

    Take a look at fukushima and find what failed or proved to be difficult to overcome. Those are always great places to find a project.
  5. May 7, 2013 #4


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    Some things the industry would be interested in:

    How long does a device last in a given field? Electronics poops out after exposure to ionizing radiation. How long is it reliable? How can it be made to last longer? Is it cheaper to make it last longer or replace a cheaper part more often? Does it die suddenly or fade out? Can it be made to last longer by recalibrating or upping the voltage or some such dodge?

    Are there generic types of electronics that last longer in rad fields?

    Can the most sensitive parts be "over there" behind a shield, while the robust stuff is "over here" getting the radiation? Does that make the design of a component easier? Cheaper? More reliable?

    Can you identify the radiation sensitive parts that need replacing, and make them easy to replace? Put them all on one easy to replace module (circuit board, etc.), and the more robust stuff stays and does not get replaced.

    Can an easy test demonstrate a device is suffering radiation damage and needs replacing? Might make maintenance easier.

    Are there types of detectors that can be made more sensitive? More efficient? More selective? It's nice to be able to detect low levels of contamination really quickly, and to identify the type of material.

    Can electronics handle both radiation and temperature extremes? In an accident there might be a jet of steam blasting a panel, and the panel may have been in low level radiation for 20 years. What about other stuff like being flooded with nearly boiling hot water?

    Can electronic devices be easily earthquake resistant? Seismic qualification is a big deal.
  6. May 7, 2013 #5


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    The main thing that failed was, the sea wall was not high enough to stop the tidal wave from inundating the station.

    The next thing that failed was, the backup power equipment was in the part of the plant that flooded. Batteries and diesels full of sea water tend not to work very well. Electronics without power is not very useful.

    Nuclear installations are now evaluating the maximum conceivable flood levels, whether by the ocean or on a lake or river or whatever, and trying to plan for that. Chalk River, for example, has proposed storing a full set of backup diesel generators in a bunker on a hill near the reactor. In addition, they would have enough emergency cable, stored in the bunker, to string a power supply from those diesels in the event the connecting wires were destroyed.
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