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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/L025671/1
Title: A centre for Advanced Digital Radiometric Instrumentation for Applied Nuclear Activities (ADRIANA)
Principal Investigator: Joyce, Professor MJ
Other Investigators:
Lilley, Mr S Packer, Mr L Nolan, Professor P
Boston, Professor AJ
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Engineering
Organisation: Lancaster University
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 25 February 2014 Ends: 15 April 2014 Value (£): 1,040,000
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Energy - Nuclear
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
Facilities associated with nuclear activities, such as reactors, radioactive substances, wastes and processing systems can often be characterised by the radiation that they emit as a result of the processes going on with them, or residual contamination. This characterisation is very important because it is often impossible to enter such facilities due to the risk to health and, conversely, without characterising them we often do not know the extent of the risk either. Fortunately, because two of the most common forms of radiation - neutrons and gamma rays - are very penetrating, it is usually possible to carry out the necessary measurements without needing to intrude on the facilities under assessment. Indeed, a great deal can be learnt from non-intrusive, non-destructive assessments of these radiation fields.

Until recently, the accepted techniques for assessing gamma-ray and neutron environments were still based on technologies developed at the dawn of the nuclear industry, in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Whilst adequate, these techniques were wholly analogue and as a result only a small proportion of the feasible assessments developed in the laboratory could be transported to industrial environments because extensive setting-up and configuration is needed, and they are not directly compatible with computer systems. Over the last 10 years, work at Lancaster and Liverpool Universities has focussed on digitizing these techniques, which is not easy because the speed with which the radiations interact with detecting systems is extremely fast, and often too fast for current electronic processing systems. The success of this research has enabled environments to be characterized in real-time and without the need for extensive set-up procedures that was the case for analogue apparatus, and in particular has resulted in a number new ways to image nuclear environments in terms of the radiation they emit. Of particular interest to this proposal is that it has become feasible to multiplex a much wider range of detector systems than was previously the case, with many new assay techniques being postulated if these larger, more sophisticated detector systems can be constructed for industrial applications.

Because such detector systems are expensive, there are few if any of a suitable type available in the world despite the potential they hold for analysis in power production, decommissioning, cancer therapy and metrology. In this proposal we intend to construct several of these systems - a gamma-ray spectroscopy system, a neutron imaging system and a gamma-ray imaging system - to establish a cutting-edge group of facilities that can be used by researchers in the UK with an interest in these techniques. This will allow the benefits of digital radiation assay to be brought to bear on a wide range of applications without the need for every researcher to try to fund the expensive equipment necessary, and will be an efficient basis on which to continue Britain's lead in this important area.
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Organisation Website: http://www.lancs.ac.uk