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Characterising the Performance of Hydrogen Sensitive Coatings for Nuclear Safety Applications


The detection of hydrogen gas is essential in ensuring the safety of nuclear plants. However, events at Fukushima Daiichi NPP highlighted the vulnerability of conventional detection systems to extreme events, where power may be lost. Herein, chemochromic hydrogen sensors have been fabricated using transition metal oxide thin films, sensitised with a palladium catalyst, to provide passive hydrogen detection systems that would be resilient to any plant power failures. To assess their viability for nuclear safety applications, these sensors have been gamma-irradiated to four total doses (0, 5, 20, 50 kGy) using a Co-60 gamma radioisotope. Optical properties of both un-irradiated and irradiated samples were investigated to compare the effect of increased radiation dose on the sensors resultant colour change. The results suggest that gamma irradiation, at the levels examined (>5 kGy), has a significant effect on the initial colour of the thin films and has a negative effect on the hydrogen sensing abilities.

Related subjects: Safety
Countries: United Kingdom

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Characterising the performance of hydrogen sensitive coatings for nuclear safety applications

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