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UV-zoom lens helps detect spent nuclear fuel

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Resolve Optics has developed a UV transmitting zoom lens to aid the detection of spent nuclear fuel.

When gamma rays from fuel assemblies interact with electrons in cool water, they emit faint ultraviolet Cerenkov waves which can be detected by digital Cerenkov viewing devices used by inspectors to check the fuel is not stolen.

The UV-zoom lens developed can view a nuclear fuel assembly at 13m awat through 10m of water. The lens was commissioned by Channel Systems, and specifications included operation between 10 and 55°C and the ability to transmit UV and visible wavelengths, without the need to refocus the lens.

The lens uses miniature motors to focus images from 3m to infinity, and features high resolution without distortion.

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