Navigation Links
Sensitive detection method may help impede illicit nuclear trafficking

WASHINGTON D.C., April 15, 2014 -- According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) the greatest danger to nuclear security comes from terrorists acquiring sufficient quantities of plutonium or highly enriched uranium (HEU) to construct a crude nuclear explosive device. The IAEA also notes that most cases of illicit nuclear trafficking have involved gram-level quantities, which can be challenging to detect with most inspection methods.

According to a new study appearing this week in the Journal of Applied Physics, coupling commercially available spectral X-ray detectors with a specialized algorithm can improve the detection of uranium and plutonium in small, layered objects such as baggage. This approach enhances the detection powers of X-ray imaging and may provide a new tool to impede nuclear trafficking.

The study was conducted by a joint research team from the University of Texas at Austin (UT) and the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL).

"We first had to develop a computational model for how X-rays move through materials and how they are detected so that we could predict what an image will look like once the radiation passed through an object," said UT's Mark Deinert, one of the authors on the paper. "With that in hand, we applied an 'inverse algorithm,' varying the composition of the object until the predicted image matched the measured one. We also gave our algorithm additional details about density and other factorsa process called 'regularization' to adaptively enhance its ability to discriminate materials."

The new system, Deinert said, expands upon techniques originally developed for medical applications such as discerning between bone and iodine contrast agent in an X-ray image. "We wanted to show that spectrally sensitive detectors can be used to discriminate plutonium and other high-atomic-number elements from multiple layers of other materials using a single-view radiograph," said Andrew Gilbert, the lead author on the paper and a doctoral student of Deinert's working at PNNL. "In simulated radiographs, we were able to detect the presence of plutonium with a mass resolution per unit area of at least 0.07 gram/centimeter squared; in other words, we can locate a sample of plutonium with a thickness of only 0.036 millimeters."

Now that the inverse algorithm method has been shown to help X-rays detect nuclear materials in luggage and other small objects, Deinert said that his team will next expand the concept to improve detection on a larger scale. "We plan to apply the algorithm to high-energy X-ray systems that could be used for verification of arms-reduction treaties," he said.


Contact: Jason Socrates Bardi
American Institute of Physics

Related biology technology :

1. Ultra-sensitive force sensing with a levitating nanoparticle
2. Eagle Biosciences Introduces Highly Sensitive Calprotectin ELISA Assay Kit
3. Adult Acne Treatment, Probiotic Action Shares New Insight on Why Men’s Skin is More Sensitive to Acne and How to Fight the Skin Condition with Supplements
4. A sensitive, affordable sensor to detect tiny amounts of CO2
5. Cost-Effective Approaches to Quality Distribution and Logistics for Temperature Sensitive Products
6. Researchers create method for more sensitive electrochemical sensors
7. Adaptive Biotechnologies launches clonoSEQ, a more sensitive, accurate assay to detect minimal residual disease (MRD) in blood-based cancers.
8. New silk technology preserves heat-sensitive drugs for months without refrigeration
9. New magnetic-field-sensitive alloy could find use in novel micromechanical devices
10. Menon Biosensors Demonstrates Industry Leading Sensitivity Levels for Detection of Tuberculosis and Clostridium difficile
11. Annai Systems to Support International Challenge to Improve the Detection of Cancer Mutations
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Sensitive detection method may help impede illicit nuclear trafficking
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... software integration with MarkLogic, the Enterprise NoSQL database platform provider, creating a ... change. , Smartlogic’s Content Intelligence capabilities provide a robust set of semantic ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... that includes over 2,000 technical presentations offered in symposia, oral sessions, workshops, awards, ... spectroscopy, covers a wide range of applications such as, but not limited to, ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... Global Biobanking Market 2016 - 2020 report analyzes ... maintaining integrity and quality in long-term samples, minimizing ... long-term cost-effectiveness. Automation minimizes manual errors such as ... technical efficiency. Further, it plays a vital role ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... HOLLISTON, Mass. , Nov. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... ), a biotechnology company developing bioengineered organ implants for ... will present at the LD Micro "Main Event" ... p.m. PT. The presentation will be webcast live and ... will also be available at the conference for one-on-one ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:11/4/2015)... ALBANY, New York , November 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... According to a new market report published by Transparency ... Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2015 - 2022", ... value of US$ 30.3 bn by 2022. The market ... during the forecast period from 2015 to 2022. Rising ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... RESTON, Va. , Oct. 29, 2015 ... announced today that it has released a new version ... Daon customers in North America ... gains. IdentityX v4.0 also includes a FIDO UAF ... customers are already preparing to activate FIDO features. These ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... 2015 Today, LifeBEAM , a ... 2XU, a global leader in technical performance sports ... with advanced bio-sensing technology. The hat will allow ... key biometrics to improve overall training performance. As ... will bring together the most advanced technology, extensive ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):