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Imager aids in nuclear fuel inspection

Channel Systems, a Canadian provider of nuclear safeguards, is developing an imaging device for inspecting spent nuclear fuel. The Digital Cerenkov Viewing Device (DCVD) uses a lightweight version of Resolve Optics’ 80-200mm focal length UV zoom lens.

Spent nuclear fuel emits a faint ultraviolet Cerenkov light when gamma rays from fuel assemblies interact with electrons in the cooling pond water. The DCVD equipped with UV zoom lens provides a highly-effective system that captures the Cerenkov image of spent fuel for analysis and comparison. This unique system provides inspectors with an effective tool for non-intrusive verification of spent nuclear fuel.

The DCVD UV zoom lens is wavelength-corrected to view a nuclear fuel assembly situated 13 metres away from the lens and through 10 metres of water. To meet the challenges of the application the UV zoom lens is able to optimally operate from 10 to 55ºC. Miniature motors allow accurate remote setting of both zoom and focus functions. A filter slide was incorporated in the design enabling the lens to be switched between UV (270 to 350nm) and visible (400 to 700nm) without the need to refocus the lens.


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