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In-Situ Structural Monitoring of Light Water Reactors

Award Information

Department of Energy
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2011 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
20 c
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Lambda Instruments, Inc.
840 University City Blvd. Suite 4 Blacksburg, VA 24060-2708
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2011
Title: In-Situ Structural Monitoring of Light Water Reactors
Agency: DOE
Contract: DE-FG02-11ER90105
Award Amount: $149,607.00


The primary challenges associated with Light Water reactors stem from the degradation of stainless steel structural components during long reactor lifetimes. One problem in particular is the in-situ measurement of swelling and changes in modulus over the core lifetime. Lambda Instruments, Inc. proposes to develop extremely high-temperature, radiation-hardened fiber optic sensors based on their unique sapphire waveguide technology. Sapphire is an inherently high-temperature material and has been shown to retain acceptable transmission properties in moderate radiation environments. Project Outline: (Phase I) This is a feasibility study that will address sensor survivability in high radiation environments. Specifically, initial tests at the OSU TRIGA reactor will be designed to simulate future testing at the ATR facility at INL; (Phase II) This phase will be focused on finalizing test plans and procedures with the goal of completing initial testing in the ATR by the conclusion of Phase II. Sensor designs will continue to be improved and ruggedized; (Phase III) We will leverage commercial contacts with General Atomics, Westinghouse and others developed during the first two phases to generate/solicit commercial funding to continue work. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: Beyond the nuclear reactor market, there is a significant commercial market in conventional power production. Initial target markets will focus on industries such as fossil fuel energy where there is a similar need for high-temperature instrumentation.

Principal Investigator:

Jon Greene

Business Contact:

Jon Greene
Small Business Information at Submission:

Lambda Instruments, Inc.
1711 North Main Street Blacksburg, VA 24060-2708

EIN/Tax ID: 541980160
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No