The investigation of highly radioactive samples is made possible by the NEURAP setup. Such objects are strong γ-sources, making non-destructive imaging by X-ray transmission impossible. However neutrons can be used for this purpose, if a special detector - e.g. a dysprosium loaded imaging plate - sensitive to neutrons only, is employed. Neutrons pass easily through the heavy metal components of nuclear power plants or neutron spallation sources. For radiation safety reasons, these samples must be transported and manipulated using shielding containers and remotely controlled equipment.
The NEURAP setup permits positioning such samples at NEUTRA position 2 in the neutron beam. It consists of a heavily shielded steel cask, with a built-in aluminium transport container, which can be lowered into the imaging position. Remotely controlled, this container can be rotated about its vertical axis for tomography.
The principle of dysprosium loaded imaging plate (IP) is shown on the left. Neutrons are captured by Dy during a 30 minutes irradiation, then the imaging plate is erased by neon light, a long self exposure of the imaging plate then re-creates the neutron only radiograph, which is finally read out by the laser IP-reader. The available field of view is 40 x 200 mm (WxH).