The Use of Muon Tomography in Safeguarding Nuclear Geological Disposal Facilities
Muon attenuation tomography is a powerful tool that employs naturally occurring cosmic ray muons for locating, identifying, and measuring density irregularities in geological overburdens. First applied in the 1950s , the technique has very many diverse applications including imaging civil infrastructure such as railway tunnels , identifying ore bodies in mines, monitoring magma chambers in volcanoes , and identifying voids in pyramids [6, 7]. Muon scattering tomography, which requires the muons to be tracked both entering and leaving the object of interest, can provide valuable information on the atomic number, Z, of objects being imaging in addition to density information. The following reports on a series of simulation studies we have performed to assess the capability of muon radiography to detect a series of potential features that may need to be identified for safeguarding or safety purposes in geological disposal facilities (GDFs) for nuclear waste. Similarly, the application of muon scattering tomography to characterizing the materials encased in nuclear waste drums and to assessing unauthorized diversion scenarios is also presented.
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