STFC Innovation Partnership Scheme project with Sellafield
09 May 2019



Sellafield partners with CLF, University of Bristol, and Queen's University Belfast scientists in support of development of laser-driven x-ray and neutron beams for nuclear waste management inspection




A collaboration ​​between CLF, University of Bristol, and Queen's University Belfast in partnership with Sellafield has been awarded a STFC Innovation Partnership Scheme grant to advance laser-driven sources for nuclear waste management inspection.

The Pulsed Accelerators for Inspection of NUclear Materials (PLATINUM) project aims to carry out proof-of-concept analysis and a technology transfer assessment of laser-driven beams as a multi-modal inspection capability for the task of tomography and active interrogation of intermediate level waste containers.

A laser-driven source of pulsed neutrons together with in-line production of a penetrating, point-like source of x-rays for high resolution tomography is an innovative approach and highly complementary combination that can deliver a single beamline technology solution for the inspection challenge of fast throughput nuclear waste assay of intermediate level waste containers. The CLF's DiPOLE laser system, capable of delivering high peak power pulses at 10 Hz, is envisioned as the enabling technology platform for translation of this inspection solution into a nuclear application environment, such as the inspection cells at Sellafield's Cumbria site.

The CLF's Dr Ceri Brenner, together with University of Bristol, developed the idea to apply laser-driven x-rays and neutrons for this specific inspection challenge and has led the experimental programme carried out so far in development of this. 

The seminal paper for this application of laser-driven sources was published​ in the Journal of Hazardous Materials:

'Evaluating laser-driven Bremsstrahlung radiation sources for imaging and analysis of nuclear waste packages', see here

Subsequent publications are listed here:

'A review of recent activities on laser-driven neutrons for industrial applications​', see here​

'Bremsstrahlung emission profile from intense laser-solid interactions as a function of laser focal spot size​', see here

'Bremsstrahlung emission from high power laser interactions with constrained targets for industrial radiography​', see here​. You can also read a summary about it h​ere.

'Ultra-short, Beamed Source of Laser-driven Epithermal Neutrons', accepted for publication

Contact: Brenner, Ceri (STFC,RAL,CLF)