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

Christopher 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 Bligh Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
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A small scale sample nuclear waste package, consisting of a 28mm 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 >500keV), with a source size of <0.5mm. 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 30cm2 scan 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 10Hz operation, a laser-driven multi-modal beamline for waste monitoring applications is envisioned.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)694-701
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Early online date26 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2016


  • Laser
  • X-ray
  • Radiography
  • Corrosion
  • Nuclear


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