Fast neutron and γ-ray backscatter radiography for the characterization of corrosion-born defects in oil pipelines
Published online: 20 January 2020
In this research, a combined fast-neutron/γ-raybackscatter imaging technique is described. The aim of this work is to understand corrosion defects in pipelines by measuring differences in the scattered radiation flux, generated when different steel thicknesses are irradiated by a neutron and γ-ray focused beam. A californium-252 radiation source is used to produce fast neutron and γ rays, exploiting its spontaneousfission. This mixed radiation field is collimated and directed towards the steel samples. Backscattered neutrons and γ rays aremeasured as a function of the steel thickness using 4 liquid organic scintillation detectors linked to a real-time, pulse-shape discrimination system, which separates and retains the neutron and γ-ray event data. In this paper, we describe how, using asingle radiation source and detection system, it is possible to perform and combine two complementary imaging modalities. This research is validated by an MCNP6 computer simulation study. The backscatter imaging system developed for this research and the experimental results of the measurements carried out using the National Physical Laboratory neutron low-scatter facility are also presented in this paper.
Key words: Fast Neutron tomography / combined neutron-γ imaging / backscatter / scintillation detectors / corrosion / pipelines
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2020
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