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Simultaneous reconstruction of emission and attenuation in passive gamma emission tomography of spent nuclear fuel. (English) Zbl 1455.65239
Summary: In the context of international nuclear safeguards, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has recently approved passive gamma emission tomography (PGET) as a method for inspecting spent nuclear fuel assemblies (SFAs). The PGET instrument is essentially a single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) system that allows the reconstruction of axial cross-sections of the emission map of an SFA. The fuel material heavily self-attenuates its gamma-ray emissions, so that correctly accounting for the attenuation is a critical factor in producing accurate images. Due to the nature of the inspections, it is desirable to use as little a priori information as possible about the fuel, including the attenuation map, in the reconstruction process. Current reconstruction methods either do not correct for attenuation, assume a uniform attenuation throughout the fuel assembly, or assume an attenuation map based on an initial filtered back-projection reconstruction. We propose a method to simultaneously reconstruct the emission and attenuation maps by formulating the reconstruction as a constrained minimization problem with a least squares data fidelity term and regularization terms. Using simulated data, we show that our approach produces clear reconstructions which allow for a highly reliable classification of spent, missing, and fresh fuel rods.
65R32 Numerical methods for inverse problems for integral equations
65K10 Numerical optimization and variational techniques
65Z05 Applications to the sciences
65D18 Numerical aspects of computer graphics, image analysis, and computational geometry
Full Text: DOI
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