Instrumentation and Sensors

A critical part of nuclear energy research is the ability to precisely measure the extreme conditions inside a nuclear reactor. INL provides research, development, testing, characterization and engineering services including 

  • Development and fabricating nuclear instrumentation to provide real-time measurements 
  • Engineering services for instrumented irradiation rigs 
  • Development of innovative sensing technologies for advanced reactor instrumentation and controls 



MSL provide broad support to many programs within the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy (DOE-NE) and allow access to researchers and engineers from organizations inside and outside INL.  

MSL contain an array of specialized equipment for nuclear instruments development, fabrication and testing including  

  • The autoclave testing area includes various flowing and static containment vessels that simulate pressurized water reactor temperature, pressure, flow and chemistry.  
  • The fiber optics and acoustic sensors fabrication and testing area includes specialized spectrometers, spectrum analyzers, laser interrogators, pulse power system, power meters, and fiber fabrication equipment. 
  • The High Temperature Test Laboratory houses specialized instrument fabrication equipment and can perform high-temperature evaluations as well as non-destructive analysis of instruments through a micro focus X-ray computed tomography scanner. The HTTL can also handle radioactive materials relevant for instrument research. 

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The Advanced Sensors & Instrumentation (ASI) program is operated by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Nuclear Energy. ASI develops and qualifies innovative sensors and instruments for the nuclear energy and other industries. INL researcher do extensive work on behalf of this program to develop advanced sensors and I&C that address critical technology gaps for monitoring and controlling existing and advanced reactors and supporting fuel cycle development. 

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