Non-destructive contamination depth profiling

Supervisor: Andy Boston

A comprehensive understanding of the nature of waste from the UK’s nuclear legacy is an essential part of decommissioning. A substantial proportion of this waste is concrete from buildings, tanks, cells and ponds with contamination trapped into the surface and sub-surface of the concrete. Therefore, there is a need to understand the depth profile of activity to enable the development of optimised decontamination techniques. UoL has pioneered the development of wide field-of-view semiconductor-based Compton gamma-ray imaging systems. This innovation offers a more compact camera head, yielding the future potential for a lightweight, portable device. The system generates very large amounts of list mode data via optically interfaced digital electronics cards. The data stream requires processing prior to the real time fusion of optical and gamma-ray data. This data stream is then 3D reconstructed and presented to the user. The student will work on optimisation of Compton geometry. They will then study 3D intensity mapping evaluating camera response through imaging of environmental analogue sources in realistic industrial scenarios. This will be the basis for 3D reconstruction algorithm development, which will pull on LBDN expertise developed in the context of other tomography applications. A custom iterative reconstruction algorithm will be implemented along with an appropriate physics model based system matrix. The VEC will be used to integrated augmented reality R&D into overall system design. Extended secondments to both NNL and Canberra will take place throughout the duration of the project to ensure all industry standards are met and will provide further training in detector application beyond the core PhD.