A high resolution measurement technique for rapid and accurate monitoring of water level using an in-house built pulsating conductance monitoring device is presented. The technique has the capability of online monitoring of any sudden shift in water level in a reservoir which is subjected to rapid fluctuations due to any external factor. We have deployed this novel technique for real time monitoring of water level fluctuations in a specially designed scale model of the Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) at Kalpakkam, India. The water level measurements in various locations of the simulated test facility were carried out in different experimental campaigns with and without inclusion of thermal baffles to it in specific operating conditions as required by the reactor designers. The amplitudes and the frequencies of fluctuations with required statistical parameters in hot water pool of the simulated model were evaluated from the online time versus water level plot in more convenient way using system software package. From experimental results it is computed that the maximum free level fluctuation in the hot pool of PFBR with baffle plates provided on the inner vessel is 30 mm which is considerably less than the value (∼82 mm) obtained without having any baffle plates. The present work provided useful information for assessment of appropriate design which would be adopted in the PFBR for safe operation of the reactor. © 2011 Published by Elsevier Ltd.