Recent advances in the synthesis of diamond films led to the fabrication of new devices that enable the direct measurement of the alpha activity of a corrosive liquid source. Such devices can be directly immersed in radioactive liquid solutions for the in-situ and real time measurement of their alpha activity. We report here on the fabrication of diamond from the chemical vapour deposition (CVD) technique and its use for the monitoring of the alpha activity of a plutonium 239 radioactive source diluted in concentrated nitric acid. Tests have demonstrated the excellent reliability of the CVD diamond detectors, that would give great benefit to the monitoring of the nuclear fuel assembly re-processing, and in particular for corrosive wastes identification and treatment.
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Bergonzo, P., Foulon, F., Brambilla, A. et al. Diamond Detectors for Alpha Monitoring in Corrosive Media for Nuclear Fuel Assembly Reprocessing. MRS Online Proceedings Library 608, 511 (1999). https://doi.org/10.1557/PROC-608-511