Date of Award

8-2011

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

Nuclear Engineering

Major Professor

Arthurs E. Ruggles

Committee Members

Lawrence H. Heilbronn, Haitao Liao

Abstract

Positron Emission Tomography (PET) is frequently used for medical imaging. Maturity and flexibility of PET as an imaging technique has expanded its utility beyond the medical domain. It can be used as a tool for fluid flow studies in opaque fluids and for flow within complex geometry where conventional optical flow measurement approaches fail. This study explores the capabilities of PET as flow measurement tool suited to validation of computational fluid dynamic (CFD) predictions.

The MicroPET P4 scanner was used to image the diffusion process in flow around a rod bundle geometry similar to that found in a nuclear reactor fuel assembly. The PET data are compared with results from COMSOL CFD simulation and dye injection images. PET image resolution, acquisition speed and sensitivity are also examined in the context of flow measurement.

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