In the near future, Gen II, III, and IV nuclear reactors will be in operation. UO2 is a common fuel for reactors in each of these generations and molten salts are used as coolant/fuel in Gen IV molten salt reactors. This thesis investigates potential ways to measure thermal conductivity for these materials: Raman thermometry for UO2 and a needle probe for molten salts. Four Raman thermometry techniques are investigated in this thesis: The Two Laser Raman (TLR), Time Differential Domain Raman (TDDR), Frequency Resolved Raman (FRR), and Frequency Domain Raman (FDR). The TLR is a steady state method used with a thin film. The TDDR and FRR are both time domain methods used with thin cantilever samples. The FDR is a frequency domain method used with a thermally thick sample. Monte Carlo like simulations are performed for each technique. In the simulations, the affect introduced uncertainty has on the measurement of thermal conductivity and thermal diffusivity is measured. From the results, it is recommended that the TLR should be used for measuring thermal conductivity and the FRR used for measuring thermal diffusivity. The TDDR and FDR were heavily affected by the uncertainty which resulted in inconsistent measured thermal properties. For measuring the thermal conductivity of molten salt, a needle probe was designed and manufactured to withstand the corrosive environment found in using molten salts. The probe uses modulated joule heating and measures the temperature rise in a thermocouple. The phase delay and temperature amplitude of the thermocouple are used in determining the thermal conductivity. A new thermal quadrupole based analytical solution, which takes into consideration convection and radiation, to the temperature rise of the probe is presented. The analytical solution is verified using a numerical solution found using COMSOL. Preliminary data was obtained with the probe in water.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology



Date Submitted


Document Type





Raman thermometry, uranium dioxide, thermal quadrupole, thermal conductivity, thermal diffusivity, thermal wave, molten salt, COMSOL



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Engineering Commons