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. At the top: The layout of the neutron radiography and tomography facility on the 14th beamline of the IBR-2 high-flux pulsed reactor. The length of the collimator system is 11 m, and the linear dimensions of the neutron beam at the output of the system are 20×20 cm. The goniometer is used for performing the neutron tomographic experiments. A specially constructed detector system based on a high-resolution CCD camera is used for neutron detection. At the bottom: a primary schema of the neutron radiography experiment: a neutron radiographic image of the object is formed using the scintillator screen. Neutron radiography image is recorded by means of the CCD video camera.


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

134 µm

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



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