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On-site Regeneration Technique for Hole-Assisted Optical Fibers Used In Nuclear Facilities

Abstract : In this paper, we demonstrate and highlight a proof of concept for the feasibility of an innovative technique to regenerate on-site irradiated optical fiber links in nuclear facilities. Using Hole-Assisted optical fibers (HAOF), a longitudinal gas-loading is easy to perform thanks to the fibers' dedicated holes located in the outer part of the cladding. All along the fiber length, gas ( H2 or D2) diffuses from the holes into the silica matrix, interacts with radiation induced point defects and passivates them, reducing the Radiation Induced Attenuation (RIA) levels. The validity of our approach is demonstrated considering the changes occurring at infrared wavelengths during the H2 treatment of a MGy irradiated single mode Ge-doped HAOF. Within just a few hours, a reduction of about 50% is observed for the RIA at 1550 nm of the 10 MGy irradiated HAOF, acting only from one of its two ends. An additional study is done on a set of fibers with various core dopants (F, Ge, P) and without holes to give an overview of the pertinence of developing HAOF fibers with these dopants for various applications. Using HAOF and this recovery technique appears very promising for samples based on pure-silica, Ge or F-doped cores and operating in the ultraviolet-visible spectral domains such as plasma diagnostics. This approach exhibits another interesting feature which may be extension to higher dose ranges and lifetime of P-doped distributed dosimeters used in high energy physics facilities or nuclear power plants.
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Sylvain Girard, Diego Di Francesca, Aziz Boukenter, Thierry Robin, Emmanuel Marin, et al.. On-site Regeneration Technique for Hole-Assisted Optical Fibers Used In Nuclear Facilities. IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2015, 62 (6), pp.2941-2947. ⟨10.1109/TNS.2015.2484353⟩. ⟨hal-02068164⟩

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