Simultaneous reconstruction of emission and attenuation in passive gamma emission tomography of spent nuclear fuel.

*(English)*Zbl 1455.65239Summary: 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.

##### MSC:

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 |

##### Keywords:

nonlinear problem; ill-posed inverse problem; passive gamma emission tomography; simultaneous reconstruction##### Software:

KELLEY
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\textit{R. Backholm} et al., Inverse Probl. Imaging 14, No. 2, 317--337 (2020; Zbl 1455.65239)

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