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The Nuclear Methods and Instrumentation (NMI) Group has a tradition of 30 years of activity in the field of the development of nuclear methods and instrumentation, with applied goals and collaborations with industrial partners.

In the last years, due to specialized knowledge in the equipment development, the group extended its activities to different sectors of ITN and to other institutions, and embraced the field of computational physics.

1. Main Activities

Main lines of intervention:

  • Development of nuclear methods, techniques and instrumentation for measurement and control, for applications in productive sectors of the economy and services.
  • The supply of equipment and specialized services, including technical assistance and consulting.

2. Equipment and Infrastructures

Main infrastructures operated by the Group:

  • Nuclear Instruments Laboratory: develops nuclear instrumentation. The activity extends also to modelling and simulation of gamma, electron and neutron fields and of low temperature gas discharges.

3. Technical Services

3.1. Nuclear Methods and Instrumentation

Specialized Services

Radiation Engineering and Radioisotope Applications
  • Radioactive Sources Recharging.
  • Maintenance and repairing of containers with radioactive sources.
  • Supply of locally produced 192Ir sources and recharging of gauges with imported sources.
  • Repair of depleted uranium balance weights in planes (TAP Air Portugal).
  • Quality tests of Helium leak detection in cryogenic security valves, in high vacuum chamber.
Technical Assistance
  • Maintenance and repairing of nuclear equipments.
  • The technical assistance in the field of engineering applications of radiation and radioisotopes consists in the installation, calibration, maintenance and repair of nuclear instrumentation and supply of 192Ir sources for industrial applications.
  • Specialized consultant engineer advice and identification of problems, for which solution methods and nuclear equipments can be used.
  • Correct definition of parameters in order to provide an adequate installation of equipment.

3.2. Nuclear Methods

  • Control of the refractory covering of steel converters using radioactive tracers [Client: Siderurgia Nacional].
  • Prompt Gamma Neutron Activation Analysis (PGNAA): The technique can provide accurate information on the elemental composition of materials in a broad range of cases as in raw materials, mineral exploration, contaminants, detection of forbidden products, such as drugs and explosives, inspection of containers and applications in health care [Client: Cimpor].

3.3. Technical and Scientific Equipments

  • Design of electronic instrumentation for nuclear applications.
  • Technological support for internal groups, including specific design for nuclear instruments, and technical assistance to industrial companies.
  • Collaboration in project and construction of a Small-Angle Neutron Scattering Instrument, EPA.
  • High-Resolution High-Temperature Double-Crystal X-ray Diffractometer (HotBird), for in-situ studies on crystalline materials: conclusion of the temperature controller and specialized power supply of the High Temperature Chamber; a Data Acquisition Board (DAQ) was bought and software for the Diffractometer control was developed; also a PCB for interfacing the DAQ with the Diffractometer was designed and manufactured; numerical optimization of the geometry of the spectrometer; participation in testing of the X-ray generator.
  • Design and construction of the RPI (Portuguese Research Reactor) prototype-simulator, controlled by a personal computer. The design involved three parts, mainly: electro mechanics (several step motors), controlling and driving electronics and software.
  • Installation of the Robotized Detector Displacement System for the EPA Neutron Spectrometer and evaluation of the Electro-magnetic Compatibility of the DIDE Diffractometer at the RPI.
  • Design and construction of a multifunction PCB with NIM bus for the Two-Axis Diffractometer, DIDE.
  • Technical and scientific collaboration in testing equipment for the "CERN Large Hadron Collider" under contract agreement between ITN and VELAN.
  • Technical and scientific participation in the n-TOF (PS213) experiment at CERN
  • Project, construction and supply of voltage divisors for "CERN n-TOF Spectrometer".
  • Project, construction and supply of a radioscanner equipment for Nuclear Medicine T.L.C..
  • Installation of a discharge chamber with a dielectrically barrier for decomposition of volatile organic materials.

3.4. Computing Physics

  • Numerical modelling represents an important tool to fulfil the objectives of the group and two domains of application are presently covered:
    • Calculation of radiation fields and Modelling of cold plasmas for material processing;
    • Along with these applications, the group is also involved in improving the available computational capacity with the build up of a Beowulf cluster for parallel computation. This cluster will be used to Monte Carlo simulations, application of genetic algorithms and fluid dynamics.

Sales of Equipment

To see equipment we sell, please consult this table.

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