Evaluating laser-driven Bremsstrahlung radiation sources for imaging and analysis of nuclear waste packages

Christoper P. Jones, Ceri M. Brenner, Camilla A. Stitt, Chris Armstrong, Dean R. Rusby, Seyed R. Mirfayzi, Lucy A. Wilson, Aarón Alejo, Hamad Ahmed, Ric Allott, Nicholas M. H. Butler, Robert J. Clarke, David Haddock, Cristina Hernandez-Gomez, Adam Higginson, Christopher Murphy, Margaret Notley, Charilaos Paraskevoulakos, John Jowsey, Paul McKennaDavid Neely, Satya Kar, Thomas B. Scott

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A small scale sample nuclear waste package, consisting of a 28 mm diameter uranium penny encased in grout, was imaged by absorption contrast radiography using a single pulse exposure from an X-ray source driven by a high-power laser. The Vulcan laser was used to deliver a focused pulse of photons to a tantalum foil, in order to generate a bright burst of highly penetrating X-rays (with energy >500 keV), with a source size of <0.5 mm. BAS-TR and BAS-SR image plates were used for image capture, alongside a newly developed Thalium doped Caesium Iodide scintillator-based detector coupled to CCD chips. The uranium penny was clearly resolved to sub-mm accuracy over a 30 cm2scan area from a single shot acquisition. In addition, neutron generation was demonstrated in situ with the X-ray beam, with a single shot, thus demonstrating the potential for multi-modal criticality testing of waste materials. This feasibility study successfully demonstrated non-destructive radiography of encapsulated, high density, nuclear material. With recent developments of high-power laser systems, to 10 Hz operation, a laser-driven multi-modal beamline for waste monitoring applications is envisioned.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Early online date26 Jul 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 Jul 2016


  • laser
  • x-ray
  • radiography
  • corrosion
  • nuclear
  • imaging
  • waste monitoring
  • imaging


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