Supporting Advanced Nuclear Reactor Development with LIBS

Apr 19, 2023
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About This Webinar
Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) offers a great degree of flexibility in applications because it can be performed remotely through fiber optics and monitor nearly the entire periodic table, regardless of sample form. At Oak Ridge National Laboratory, LIBS is being applied to support research on an advanced nuclear reactor design called a molten salt reactor. These reactors use liquid salts as either the reactor coolant or as both the coolant and the fuel.

As nuclear fission occurs, splitting atoms to generate energy, new elements are produced, which are called fission products. Some fission products will form aerosols or gases and leave the reactor core through the off-gas system where they are captured with a variety of filter systems. A LIBS system is being developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to monitor molten salt reactor off-gas systems and help evaluate filter systems. Additionally, LIBS is used to investigate salt–material interactions.

*** This presentation premiered during the 2023 Photonics Spectra Spectroscopy Conference. For more information on Photonics Media conferences, visit

About the presenter

Hunter AndrewsHunter Andrews, Ph.D., is a research and development associate in the Isotope Applications Research Group within the Radioisotopes Science and Technology Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He first joined ORNL as a post-doctoral researcher in the spring of 2020 and transitioned to his current role in the summer of 2021. His research revolves around the development of in-situ, online monitoring tools for complex environments.

His main expertise lies in optical spectroscopy, particularly laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS). Andrews’ other research interests include electrochemistry, spectroelectrochemistry, neutron imaging, chemometrics, and machine learning. He received his doctorate in mechanical and nuclear engineering from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2020. His graduate research focused on the near-real time material detection through combined implementation of electrochemistry and LIBS for molten salt systems.
spectroscopyenergynuclear reactorsLIBSlaser induced breakdown spectroscopy
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