Congratulations to Elizabeth Sharp
Congratulations to Elizabeth Sharp who was awarded first prize for her presentation at the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) PhD seminar in Manchester on Tuesday 29th March. Elizabeth's work focuses on using non-contact ultrasonic transducers to excite and then measure the resonant frequencies of metal containers that hold special nuclear materials, in order to measure changes internal pressure changes that can arise as a result of various chemical and nuclear reactions of the contents whilst the containers are in long term storage. There is a risk that in certain situations a build up of pressure in a container could cause the container to fail. Currently, the best approach that the industry have is to try and detect deformation of the cans by optical means, which can be difficult and is not particularly sensitive at early stages of pressurisation. Elizabeth has designed and manufactured sensors and developed instrumentation for performing measurements on these types of containers (filled with inert material to simulate the real content mass and density). She has performed a range of experiments and finite element simulations that confirm the characteristics of the detected resonant modes are she has shown how measuring changes in resonant mode behaviour can be used to obtain quantitative information on the internal pressure of the can. The NDA and Sellafield are interested in taking this technology further, with a view to deployment in nuclear material storage facilities in the longer term.