Neutron radiography and tomography (NRT)


The neutron radiography and tomography methods are a powerful tool of non-destructive analysis, playing an important part in industrial and scientific research. The fundamental difference in the nature of neutron interaction with matter compared to X-rays provides additional benefits to neutron methods, including sensitivity to light elements, notable difference in contrast between neighboring elements or isotopes, high penetration into metals or heavy elements. All these features make neutron radiography and tomography highly demanded tools with a growing range of applications in industry, geophysics, paleontology, archeology and other various fields, including cultural heritage investigations. A neutron radiography and tomography facility operates at the IBR-2 high-flux pulsed reactor. The main parameters of this facility are listed below. 

Fig. 1. Left: the layout of the neutron radiography and tomography experimental facility at the IBR-2 reactor. The collimator system with an evacuated tube, geometry of concrete biological shielding, detector and goniometer location and beam stopper place are shown. Right: a photo of a light-tight box of a scintillator-based detector. The additional lead shielding of the CCD camera is on the top of the box.


Several neutron radiography images, as examples, are shown in Figure 2.

Fig. 2. Neutron radiography images of metal casing hard drive, padlock and part of turning lathe.


Table 1. Main parameters of the neutron radiography station at the IBR-2 reactor

L/D ratio 

Aperture diameter D

Distance between input aperture and sample L

Beam dimension: Field of view (FOV)

Neutron beam flux


10-50 mm

10 m

20x20 cm2

5.5(2)x106 n/cm2/s

CCD camera type 

Active pixels

Pixel size (µm)

CCD chip area (mm)


Cooling method





12 Bits

Peltier element

 Scintillator screen specifics  6LiF/ZnS scintillator
Gadox scintillator
Spatial resolution

270 µm

150 µm in HR mode

Imaging data processing ImageJ, H-PITRE, VGStudio MAX 2.2 software



1. Kozlenko D.P., Kichanov S.E., Lukin E.V., Rutkauskas A.V., Bokuchava G.D., Savenko B.N., Pakhnevich A.V., Rozanov A.Yu., Neutron Radiography Facility at IBR-2 High Flux Pulsed Reactor: First Results, Physics Procedia 69, 87 – 91 (2015).
2. Kozlenko D. P., Kichanov S. E., Lukin E. V., Rutkauskas A. V., Belushkin A. V., Bokuchava G. D., Savenko B. N. Neutron radiography and tomography facility at IBR-2 reactor, Phys. Part. Nuclei Lett., 13: 346 (2016).
3. E.V. Lukin, D.P. Kozlenko, S.E. Kichanov, A.V. Rutkauskas, G.D. Bokuchava, B.N. Savenko “First attempts on energy-selective neutron imaging at IBR-2”, Physics Procedia, 69, 271 – 274 (2015).
4. S.E. Kichanov, D.P. Kozlenko, T.I. Ivankina, A.V. Rutkauskas, E.V. Lukin, B.N. Savenko “The Neutron Tomography Studies of the Rocks from the Kola Superdeep Borehole”, Physics Procedia, 69, 537 – 541 (2015).
5. D. P. Kozlenko, S. Е. Kichanov, Е. V. Lukin,  А. V. Rutkauskas, A. V. Belushkin,  G. D. Bokuchava, B. N. Savenko ” Experimental Station of Neutron Radiography and Tomography at the Pulsed High-Flux IBR-2 Reactor: First Results”, JINR NEWS, 1, 31-34 (2015)