Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


IMPRINT Report Summary

Project ID: 696945

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - IMPRINT (Defeat of Insider Theft in Nuclear and Radioactive Sites)

Reporting period: 2015-12-01 to 2016-11-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

"Insider threats are perhaps the most serious challenges that nuclear security systems face.
All of the cases of theft of nuclear materials where the circumstances of the theft are known were perpetrated either by insiders or with the help of insiders.

The threat of nuclear weapons and components, and "Dirty bomb" are major concerns for EU and worldwide nuclear security.
“Dirty bombs” use a radioactive materials encapsulated in a small steel enclosure, surrounded by explosives.
These can be easily detected with Radiation Portal Monitors (RPMs). However, to avoid detection by the RPM’s, terrorist’s insiders might shield the sources.
This gap can be used by the facility insiders to steal nuclear materials from the site.

To be specific there is the need to detect shielded and unshielded Special Nuclear Materials ("SNM") and radioactive materials.
Radiation Monitors are effective to detect unshielded or partially shielded nuclear and radioactive materials in lightly loaded vehicles or cargos, and are less effective at dense or high attenuating vehicles.
The X-ray cannot clear every dense object found in the image.
Therefore, IMPRINT product shall fill the gap of existing capabilities inspection systems to enable the detection of shielded nuclear or radioactive materials that can be stolen from the sites.
The IMPRINT program is offering a green, passive detection solution designed to meet the global security requirements associated with nuclear and radioactive detection.
The technology is based on high-energy natural atmospheric cosmic ray muon particles, which have the highest known penetration levels on earth and are capable of penetrating and exiting all attenuating cargo and vehicles.

The program was planned to meet the following key objectives:

(1) Complementary solution with existing inspection systems that deploy x-rays and radiation portal monitors.
(2) software algorithms to reconstruct 3D imaging based on muon data and enhanced detection by fusion x-ray and muon data.
(3) Field test and demonstration to introduce the new inspection capabilities.
(4) Exploitation, dissemination and commercialization of the IMPRINT product."

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

We developed the specifications under WP2.
WP2 completed as planned and on time [M5].
The specifications defined according technical discussions with all the relevant stakeholders, regulation and standards and after detailed architecture and system work.
The specification defined at detailed levels to enable the design and implementation at WP4.
The detailed specifications are available at deliverable D2.1.

In WP3 we performed the following activities: (1) system level simulation (2) detector simulations and optimization. WP3 completed as planned and on time [M4].
Following the system level simulation we selected the Muon detectors dimensions and Lower spectrometer Configuration.
In the detector optimization activity we simulated and optimized the detector parameters such as thickness, holes diameter and pitch of the THGEM electrodes, gas mixture, etc.
Following this activity we set the parameters for design and implementation of the detector at WP4.
The details and outcome of WP3 is summarized at D3.1.

In WP4 we designed and implemented the modifications to the muon detection system.
WP4 is on track and expected to be finalized at M13.
In WP4 we designed and implemented all the parts of the system. All the system parts include:
(1) Detectors unit modifications ( electrodes, enclosure, gas system, etc).
(2) analog readout modules, data acquisition, On Board computing, high voltage modules.
(3) Software ( Data management, control, trigger, GUI).
(4) 3D reconstruct algorithms using muon data and fusion with x-ray.

Following the implementation we started the production. At this stage we produced all the parts for 4 units. In parallel we start the integration of the first detector unit.

On the dissemination activity side, we attended 3 conferences: (1) Enterprise innovation (2) SRIE 2016 – Security conference (3) Invest Horizon.
The conferences were good exposure for the IMPRINT program and for the next steps toward commercialization.
We met and discussed with relevant stakeholders that are key for exploiting the project results.
Lingacom has selected a coacher with experience in security and started to develop the marketing and the commercialization plan.
On the commercialization activity we succeed to sign an agreement with Rapiscan Systems to market and distribute the IMPRINT product. Rapiscan systems is one of the largest worldwide inspection company. The IMPRINT agreement with Rapiscan is the first stage in the commercialization plan for the IMPRINT product. The strategy is to start the sales of the IMPRINT product with Rapiscan Systems in order to penetrate the market and gain credibility by the end customers. The second stage will be to expand the distribution channels by adding similar inspection companies like Rapiscan Systems.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The IMPRINT solution is planned to be used as secondary screening.
The system is designed to benefit from the information derived from an earlier X-ray image of the cargo.
IMPRINT includes fusion algorithm to present any shielded nuclear or radioactive contents of the cargo in 3D image using a maximum likelihood approach based both on the muon scattering data and on an X-ray image.
This enhanced detection capability shows a significant ~ 3x improvement in signal over background ratio for the joint X-Ray and muon algorithm over the muon only algorithm.

This enhanced detection shall open new inspection capabilities that currently are not available from competitors.

The IMPRINT system cost shall be lower by factor of about 8-10 compared to muon detection as primary system due the following reasons:
(1) Small-area detectors for secondary inspection - the muon system is ~ 4.5 ft (1.5 meters) long fits to all vehicles instead of large muon system covering the whole length of interrogated object of 40 ft (13 meters) up to 60 ft (20 meters).
(2) Use low cost L-THGEM technology that that result in simple detectors and can be produced by the printed-circuit board (PCB) industry.

Such cost structure is not available from competitors.

Related information

Follow us on: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Managed by the EU Publications Office Top