Passive 3D imaging of nuclear waste containers with Muon Scattering Tomography

Christian Thomay, Jaap Velthuis, Tomas Poffly, Paolo Baesso, David Cussans, Leonor Frazao

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

19 Citations (Scopus)
405 Downloads (Pure)


The non-invasive imaging of dense objects is of particular interest in the context of nuclear waste management, where it is important to know the contents of waste containers without opening them. Using Muon Scattering Tomography (MST), it is possible to obtain a detailed 3D image of the contents of a waste container on reasonable timescales, showing both the high and low density materials inside. We show the performance of such a method on a Monte Carlo simulation of a dummy waste drum object containing objects of different shapes and materials. The simulation has been tuned with our MST prototype detector performance. In particular, we show that both a tungsten penny of 2 cm radius and 1 cm thickness, and a uranium sheet of 0.5 cm thickness can be clearly identified. We also show the performance of a novel edge finding technique, by which the edges of embedded objects can be identified more precisely than by solely using the imaging method.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberP03008
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Instrumentation
Early online date8 Mar 2016
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016


  • Search for radioactive and fissile materials
  • Analysis and statistical methods
  • Particle tracking detectors (Gaseous detectors)


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