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An Assessment of Persistent Acoustic Monitoring of a Nuclear Reactor during Full Power Generation...

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429 to 443

Persistent low-frequency (<180 Hz) acoustic detection took place within the boundaries of Oak Ridge National Laboratory to monitor full power operations of the High Flux Isotope Reactor. Three acoustic sensors were installed at distances of 69, 101, and 914 m from the northeast corner of the cooling towers to monitor and assess four reactor power generation cycles. Features were extracted from power spectral density calculations where data were collected during reactor on and off operations. Diverse spectral features were present during full reactor power, including a 21.4 Hz fundamental frequency and ascending harmonics. Using bandpass filters, these related frequencies were isolated and summed, and the root mean square energy was calculated. The method of isolating and summing characteristic features provided a significant improvement in identifying acoustic behavior related to reactor power when the raw signals were obscured by noise.