Funding awarded to develop fast neutron technology

By May 20, 2020Nuclear

Fast neutron technology developed by Arktis Radiation Detectors has achieved further Sellafield support through the Game Changers Programme.

The programme helps identify potential solutions to Sellafield’s decommissioning challenges and after initial feasibility success, Arktis has been awarded Proof of Concept funding to demonstrate the potential of its technology.

Swiss-based Arktis develops next generation systems that detect and identify radioactive and nuclear materials. The WANDS (Waste Assay Neutron Detection System) project will make use of innovative helium-4 (4He) neutron detector technology to design a prototype for a mobile active neutron assay system.  4He is the most abundant of the two naturally occurring isotopes of helium.

4He systems perform well with dense metallic packages and have inherent cost, weight, and performance advantages over the helium-3 based systems currently used to measure fissile material.  They can achieve much lower limits of detection and it is hoped that a mobile system will support the classification of waste at Sellafield, helping to determine the most appropriate and cost effective waste disposal routes.

Dr Ulisse Gendotti, Chief Technical Officer at Arktis, said: “We’re delighted we have been chosen to be part of the Game Changers Programme. The potential introduction of our fast neutron technology into civil nuclear applications adds to our previous success in supporting Sellafield operations.”

Arktis was spun out of research conducted at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) by ETH Zurich. Its customer base includes the US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency, US Department of Homeland Security and the UK’s Atomic Weapons Establishment.