Nuclear Security Science Network

Lead Research Organisation: University of Surrey
Department Name: Physics

Abstract

The importance and urgency for this proposed network is illustrated by recent data from the IAEA who maintains a database of incidents and illicit trafficking events of nuclear and radioactive material. From January 1993 to December 2013 the IAEA report 2477 incidents. Their conclusions include that material is available and that globally individuals and groups are prepared to engage in trafficking. Understandably, Nuclear security, in particular against terrorist attack, continues to be high priority to the UK's government. The national risk register of civil emergencies, published by the Cabinet Office says:

"The Government is prioritising efforts to stop terrorists gaining the capabilities to deliver such {chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear} attacks. But if terrorist groups were successful, their potential impact on the UK would be severe and significantly greater than a conventional attack. "

The national counter terrorism strategy CONTEST therefore says:

"...their impact is so high that we judge preparations must be made for them. As in so many other areas of this strategy those preparations must wherever possible be coordinated with our allies overseas. "

Much of those preparations require technological developments in Nuclear Security Science. This subject is multidisciplinary and critically dependent on end-user engagement to be effective. This network will be the mechanism that associates the broad spectrum of disciplines that could possibly contribute, with the end users (UK and international) who can articulate the requirements.

The scope of the network will be focussed on radiation detectors and detection techniques applied to nuclear security applications, which lies within the STFC Global Challenges 'security' theme of the network call. A key objective will be to encourage dialogue and collaboration between academic researcher, primarily but not limited to the STFC community, and stake holders in industry and government agencies. In addition the network will provide a point of focus for the UK community to better position themselves for future bids to major sources of funding both nationally (eg, STFC, other research councils, Innovate UK) and internationally principally through EU and US programmes.

A broad range of industrial, defence and academic partners are vital to the success of the network. The UK has traditionally had a very strong representation in detector development within the academic community, but this has tended to focus on large-scale national science priorities principally funded through STFC. Therefore this network will provide a strong forum for the research community to engage with end-users in industry and the defence sectors, and to allow these stakeholders to engage the academic community in their application challenges.

We have already engaged with a broad range of industrial, defence and academic partners, which are vital to the success of the network. Letters of support are attached from Dr Bryan Wells, MoD Head of Science and Technology, Ian Gibson Deputy Director of CBRNE at OCST, and Professor Andrew Randewich AWE Chief Scientist.

Planned Impact

Maximising impact is at the heart of the NuSec network, through the use of a range of funded impact activities that lie at the heart of the network's objectives. The broad range of network activities is described in the Case for Support and the benefits to the academic researchers are summarised in the Je-S form. Here we describe the wider impact that the NuSec network will achieve.

1. The Beneficiaries
(i) Society - the nuclear security agenda is critical to national safeguarding and to the protection of society. A strong engagement between government agencies, academic and industry will realise a benefit for all of society.
(ii) Economy - the possible economic loss to the country from a high impact terrorist activity is potentially catastrophic. This programme directly addresses the government's CONTEST counter-terrorism strategy to protect the nation from this type of very serious incident.
(iii) People and Knowledge - through the cross-fertilisation of technical expertise between research disciplines and the integration of the various stakeholder communities, and by providing opportunities to benefit researchers and to develop the UK skills base in nuclear security.


2. How the Network Activities will deliver Impact
The network will deliver impact directly through its programme of regular and occasional activities.

Developing Strategic Partnerships: The network's primary objective is to establish a forum for discussion and collaboration between the academic, industrial and defence sectors. This will focus and accelerate the development of a strong research community in the nuclear science area, and will specifically broker interaction and partnership between the academic and MoD/Home Office communities. Our strategic partners each offer a unique input into the programme and will be fully involved with the regular network meetings and technical workshops. Both the network's Management Group (MG) and End User Panel (EUP) are made up of key stakeholders who will monitor the network's progress towards developing strategic partnerships. The independent Steering Board, representing the interests of the stakeholder groups, will ensure the development of partnerships through these various activities.

Technology Development: The network will receive direct funding from the Home Office to support pilot studies and small proof of concept studies. These will be challenge-led projects that will be focussed on the requirements of these government agency stakeholders. In this way the network will effectively develop technology demonstrators that match the needs of the end user community.

Dissemination activities: All network outputs will be unclassified, and the majority will be publicly available and openly disseminated, including technical workshop presentations, results from pilot studies, scoping documents and position papers. Dissemination will use a dedicated website to promote the network activities and outputs, and the University's Surrey Research Insight digital open access repository to store and disseminate network outputs and documents. The mid-term and final network conferences will also showcase the network outputs to a wider audience.

Influencing Policy: Outputs from the network will include positioning and policy papers, arising from the collaboration between scientific researchers and Home Office / MoD. Having these two stakeholder communities collaborating within the network will provide a strong route to influence policy in government. The network will support staff secondments between all stakeholders, and this will provide opportunities for enhanced engagement and policy influence with government agencies and other parties.

Supporting Researcher Engagement: The network will provide a series of opportunities for researchers to develop their technical skills and knowledge.

Full details are given in the separate Pathways to Impact Statement

Publications

10 25 50
 
Title Nuclear Security Science Network logo 
Description The logo comprises of a commonly recognised Blue Atom image and the Acronym NuSec . 
Type Of Art Artwork 
Year Produced 2016 
Impact Added to all NuSec network Communication materials (website, newsletter, pop up banner, grant guidance, application forms, award letters, powerpoint presentations & meeting and conference materials) Applicants who also receive NuSec network funding are required to acknowledge our financial support by including the NuSe logo on their presentation materials. The logo has helped to promote the Nuclear Security Science network identify and raise awareness of its existence. 
URL https://www.nusec.uk/
 
Description NUSEC Network Summer Pilot Projects 2017 
Organisation Atomic Weapons Establishment
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The Nuclear Security Science network funds and administers an annual competition for summer pilot projects amongst network members in academia and industry. The scheme is run in partnership with AWE who provide the core project funding. The network takes the lead role in promoting the competition;drafting & distributing application forms and guidance; collating applications for assessment; informing applicants of decisions; issuing contractual paperwork; processing payments and receiving final summary report and poster presentations.
Collaborator Contribution The NuSec network manages and promotes this scheme, using funding provided to the network by AWE. In 2017, AWE provided £18,207 to NuSec to fund 5 summer research projects. The Nuclear Security Science network End User Panel (AWE & Stakeholders from government departments and Agencies) develop assessment criteria and select the projects for funding. The End User panel also provide guidance and support to successful applicants during the research period for example in accessing appropriate information and equipment..
Impact Five Universities were awarded up to £4,000 each. Research projects undertaken in Summer 2017 included :- Compact X-ray sources (University of York); Enhancing source localisation for threat detection (Imperial College London); Fluorescence spectra of alpha emitting isotopes for stand-off detector development (Lancaster University); Pulse Shape Analysis (PSA) for temperature dependent scintillator signals (University of York) and Van Allen Belt Signatures of Nuclear Weapon Tests for Future Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) Technologies (University of Bristol & St Marys Twickenham). Recipients presented a poster of their project at our September 2017 Data and Algorithms Technical workshop, and wrote a brief summary report for the NUSEC End User Panel. The PSA pilot project is currently being developed further collaboration with AWE. AWE are continuing to providing further advice to help two 2016 NUSEC Pilot projects develop further, Evidential Reasoning, University of Leicester and Passive radiation imaging, University of Manchester.
Start Year 2017
 
Description NuSec Network + Phd Studentships 
Organisation Atomic Weapons Establishment
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Developed a Phd award scheme including guidance, application form, selection criteria, applicants selection and drafted contractual agreements with each University.
Collaborator Contribution At least a 50% financial contribution from Partners for each Studentship :- 1. Bristol PhD Studentship - Developing the next-generation shipping container scanning system Partners include Prof. Tom Scott & Dr Peter Martin (Bristol) and John Burns (AWE) AWE will loan a significant number of Kromek Ltd. D3S detector modules to PhD Supervisor is estimated to be worth £20,000. AWE's will also provide the security vetting and clearance (SC or DV) of the Phd student to enable them to conduct research and technology trials at their Aldermaston site . The student will also gain operational experience with the AWE NTR team and their broader portfolio of projects. This in kind support is est to be worth £15,000 AWE may offer other in kind support depending upon the evolving outcomes of the work. 2. Sheffield Phd Studentship - Development of mixed field radiation detection techniques for oil and gas well logging. Partners include - Lee Thompson (LT) : PI, Experimental Supervision ; Patrick Stowell (PS): Simulations & Machine Learning Algorithm Supervision ; Tom Deakin (TD): Industrial Product Development Supervision University of Sheffield & LabLogic Ltd are making a total financial contribution of £41,337 University of Sheffield will provide research support, equipment, scientific knowledge, commercialisation, R&D project management training for the Phd student . Research supervision = 2 hours/week on the project = ~£12.5k over the duration of the project) and research facilities = ~£5k. Lab logic will loan instrumentation including He-3 based detectors, etc. (~£20k) and allow PhD student use of their research facilities. 3. UCL Phd Studentship Larger area semiconductor detectors based on novel inorganic polycrystalline perovskite materials Partners include - UCL Department of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering (55% £51,675), UCL Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering (Dr R Moss, Prof Andrew Nisbetr), Universe of Surrey Physics (Prof P Sellin) and the UCL Institute of Materials Discovery (IMD, Prof K-L Choy). Surrey will provide free access to equipment its characterisation laboratories. The effort at Surrey will mainly be on understanding the physical properties of perovskite materials such as band gap characterisation, charge carrier mobility and grain structure and some measurements on neutron detector response using an AmBe source. Surrey will mainly be on understanding the physical properties of perovskite materials such as band gap characterisation, charge carrier mobility and grain structure and some measurements on neutron detector response using an AmBe source. At UCL the student will concentrate on developing detector devices and characterising their response to X-rays using the facilities available (X-ray generators, shielded rooms and data acquisition electronics). The student will have access to the IMD laboratories and they will be trained in the techniques to make perovskite materials, process the detectors and apply metallised contacts to the surfaces. Detector construction will be completed at the London Centre for Nanotechnology (LCN). The students will be able to join the LCN which has essential equipment and expertise such as wire bonding.
Impact Planned Phd Outputs will involve a multidisciplinary approach. 1. Bristol Phd Studentship Planned Output - fully spectroscopic and tomographic scanning system utilising the ports existing overhead crane infrastructure combined with gamma detectors to produce a more efficient and accurate scanning system. Multidisciplinary Collaboration - detector, electronics and computational technologies. 2. Sheffield Phd Studentship Planned Output - developing low-cost mixed field neutron/gamma detection technologies be incorporated into detectors configured for deployment in boreholes. Multidisciplinary Collaboration -geophysics, environmental physics, particle physics, 3. UCL Phd Studentship Planned Output - Develop new lower cost nuclear material detector technology with a higher degree of accuracy and faster scanning rates. Multidisciplinary Collaboration - Medical Physics, Biomedical Engineering, Material development and nanotechnology.
Start Year 2020
 
Description NuSec Network + Phd Studentships 
Organisation Lablogic Systems
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Developed a Phd award scheme including guidance, application form, selection criteria, applicants selection and drafted contractual agreements with each University.
Collaborator Contribution At least a 50% financial contribution from Partners for each Studentship :- 1. Bristol PhD Studentship - Developing the next-generation shipping container scanning system Partners include Prof. Tom Scott & Dr Peter Martin (Bristol) and John Burns (AWE) AWE will loan a significant number of Kromek Ltd. D3S detector modules to PhD Supervisor is estimated to be worth £20,000. AWE's will also provide the security vetting and clearance (SC or DV) of the Phd student to enable them to conduct research and technology trials at their Aldermaston site . The student will also gain operational experience with the AWE NTR team and their broader portfolio of projects. This in kind support is est to be worth £15,000 AWE may offer other in kind support depending upon the evolving outcomes of the work. 2. Sheffield Phd Studentship - Development of mixed field radiation detection techniques for oil and gas well logging. Partners include - Lee Thompson (LT) : PI, Experimental Supervision ; Patrick Stowell (PS): Simulations & Machine Learning Algorithm Supervision ; Tom Deakin (TD): Industrial Product Development Supervision University of Sheffield & LabLogic Ltd are making a total financial contribution of £41,337 University of Sheffield will provide research support, equipment, scientific knowledge, commercialisation, R&D project management training for the Phd student . Research supervision = 2 hours/week on the project = ~£12.5k over the duration of the project) and research facilities = ~£5k. Lab logic will loan instrumentation including He-3 based detectors, etc. (~£20k) and allow PhD student use of their research facilities. 3. UCL Phd Studentship Larger area semiconductor detectors based on novel inorganic polycrystalline perovskite materials Partners include - UCL Department of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering (55% £51,675), UCL Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering (Dr R Moss, Prof Andrew Nisbetr), Universe of Surrey Physics (Prof P Sellin) and the UCL Institute of Materials Discovery (IMD, Prof K-L Choy). Surrey will provide free access to equipment its characterisation laboratories. The effort at Surrey will mainly be on understanding the physical properties of perovskite materials such as band gap characterisation, charge carrier mobility and grain structure and some measurements on neutron detector response using an AmBe source. Surrey will mainly be on understanding the physical properties of perovskite materials such as band gap characterisation, charge carrier mobility and grain structure and some measurements on neutron detector response using an AmBe source. At UCL the student will concentrate on developing detector devices and characterising their response to X-rays using the facilities available (X-ray generators, shielded rooms and data acquisition electronics). The student will have access to the IMD laboratories and they will be trained in the techniques to make perovskite materials, process the detectors and apply metallised contacts to the surfaces. Detector construction will be completed at the London Centre for Nanotechnology (LCN). The students will be able to join the LCN which has essential equipment and expertise such as wire bonding.
Impact Planned Phd Outputs will involve a multidisciplinary approach. 1. Bristol Phd Studentship Planned Output - fully spectroscopic and tomographic scanning system utilising the ports existing overhead crane infrastructure combined with gamma detectors to produce a more efficient and accurate scanning system. Multidisciplinary Collaboration - detector, electronics and computational technologies. 2. Sheffield Phd Studentship Planned Output - developing low-cost mixed field neutron/gamma detection technologies be incorporated into detectors configured for deployment in boreholes. Multidisciplinary Collaboration -geophysics, environmental physics, particle physics, 3. UCL Phd Studentship Planned Output - Develop new lower cost nuclear material detector technology with a higher degree of accuracy and faster scanning rates. Multidisciplinary Collaboration - Medical Physics, Biomedical Engineering, Material development and nanotechnology.
Start Year 2020
 
Description NuSec Network + Phd Studentships 
Organisation University College London
Department Department of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Developed a Phd award scheme including guidance, application form, selection criteria, applicants selection and drafted contractual agreements with each University.
Collaborator Contribution At least a 50% financial contribution from Partners for each Studentship :- 1. Bristol PhD Studentship - Developing the next-generation shipping container scanning system Partners include Prof. Tom Scott & Dr Peter Martin (Bristol) and John Burns (AWE) AWE will loan a significant number of Kromek Ltd. D3S detector modules to PhD Supervisor is estimated to be worth £20,000. AWE's will also provide the security vetting and clearance (SC or DV) of the Phd student to enable them to conduct research and technology trials at their Aldermaston site . The student will also gain operational experience with the AWE NTR team and their broader portfolio of projects. This in kind support is est to be worth £15,000 AWE may offer other in kind support depending upon the evolving outcomes of the work. 2. Sheffield Phd Studentship - Development of mixed field radiation detection techniques for oil and gas well logging. Partners include - Lee Thompson (LT) : PI, Experimental Supervision ; Patrick Stowell (PS): Simulations & Machine Learning Algorithm Supervision ; Tom Deakin (TD): Industrial Product Development Supervision University of Sheffield & LabLogic Ltd are making a total financial contribution of £41,337 University of Sheffield will provide research support, equipment, scientific knowledge, commercialisation, R&D project management training for the Phd student . Research supervision = 2 hours/week on the project = ~£12.5k over the duration of the project) and research facilities = ~£5k. Lab logic will loan instrumentation including He-3 based detectors, etc. (~£20k) and allow PhD student use of their research facilities. 3. UCL Phd Studentship Larger area semiconductor detectors based on novel inorganic polycrystalline perovskite materials Partners include - UCL Department of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering (55% £51,675), UCL Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering (Dr R Moss, Prof Andrew Nisbetr), Universe of Surrey Physics (Prof P Sellin) and the UCL Institute of Materials Discovery (IMD, Prof K-L Choy). Surrey will provide free access to equipment its characterisation laboratories. The effort at Surrey will mainly be on understanding the physical properties of perovskite materials such as band gap characterisation, charge carrier mobility and grain structure and some measurements on neutron detector response using an AmBe source. Surrey will mainly be on understanding the physical properties of perovskite materials such as band gap characterisation, charge carrier mobility and grain structure and some measurements on neutron detector response using an AmBe source. At UCL the student will concentrate on developing detector devices and characterising their response to X-rays using the facilities available (X-ray generators, shielded rooms and data acquisition electronics). The student will have access to the IMD laboratories and they will be trained in the techniques to make perovskite materials, process the detectors and apply metallised contacts to the surfaces. Detector construction will be completed at the London Centre for Nanotechnology (LCN). The students will be able to join the LCN which has essential equipment and expertise such as wire bonding.
Impact Planned Phd Outputs will involve a multidisciplinary approach. 1. Bristol Phd Studentship Planned Output - fully spectroscopic and tomographic scanning system utilising the ports existing overhead crane infrastructure combined with gamma detectors to produce a more efficient and accurate scanning system. Multidisciplinary Collaboration - detector, electronics and computational technologies. 2. Sheffield Phd Studentship Planned Output - developing low-cost mixed field neutron/gamma detection technologies be incorporated into detectors configured for deployment in boreholes. Multidisciplinary Collaboration -geophysics, environmental physics, particle physics, 3. UCL Phd Studentship Planned Output - Develop new lower cost nuclear material detector technology with a higher degree of accuracy and faster scanning rates. Multidisciplinary Collaboration - Medical Physics, Biomedical Engineering, Material development and nanotechnology.
Start Year 2020
 
Description NuSec Network Post-Doctoral Support (PDRA) Support Grant Extensions 
Organisation Coventry University
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Following a competitive selection process, the NuSec Network extended 5 NuSec Network PDRA posts ( total value ~ £45,000) for up to 3 months each to continue the following Nuclear Security Detection research : - On-line tritated water detection by in situ ATR-FTIR (University of York); Simulation of novel high-quality radiation sources for industrial use ( University of Bath); Comparison of Gamma-ray spectra analysis using diverse machine learning methods (University of Coventry) ; Hyperspectral sensing for autonomous nuclear element detection (University of Edinburgh) ; Antineutrino Measurement of Isotopes in Reactors (AMIR)( University of Liverpool) ; Comprehensive Testing and Benchmarking of Muon Tomography Algorithms (University of Sheffield).
Collaborator Contribution Each University has made in kind contributions in supervising in their ECR and covering the costs the Indirect and direct costs of employmen. The NuSec Network Grant award only pays for the ECR salary.
Impact All ECRs presented their research at NuSec Detection Conference April 2019. Other Disciplines covered by the NuSec PDRA research include Engineering, Computing, Chemistry and Mathematics.
Start Year 2019
 
Description NuSec Network Post-Doctoral Support (PDRA) Support Grant Extensions 
Organisation University of Bath
Department Department of Chemical Engineering
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Following a competitive selection process, the NuSec Network extended 5 NuSec Network PDRA posts ( total value ~ £45,000) for up to 3 months each to continue the following Nuclear Security Detection research : - On-line tritated water detection by in situ ATR-FTIR (University of York); Simulation of novel high-quality radiation sources for industrial use ( University of Bath); Comparison of Gamma-ray spectra analysis using diverse machine learning methods (University of Coventry) ; Hyperspectral sensing for autonomous nuclear element detection (University of Edinburgh) ; Antineutrino Measurement of Isotopes in Reactors (AMIR)( University of Liverpool) ; Comprehensive Testing and Benchmarking of Muon Tomography Algorithms (University of Sheffield).
Collaborator Contribution Each University has made in kind contributions in supervising in their ECR and covering the costs the Indirect and direct costs of employmen. The NuSec Network Grant award only pays for the ECR salary.
Impact All ECRs presented their research at NuSec Detection Conference April 2019. Other Disciplines covered by the NuSec PDRA research include Engineering, Computing, Chemistry and Mathematics.
Start Year 2019
 
Description NuSec Network Post-Doctoral Support (PDRA) Support Grant Extensions 
Organisation University of Edinburgh
Department School of Engineering
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Following a competitive selection process, the NuSec Network extended 5 NuSec Network PDRA posts ( total value ~ £45,000) for up to 3 months each to continue the following Nuclear Security Detection research : - On-line tritated water detection by in situ ATR-FTIR (University of York); Simulation of novel high-quality radiation sources for industrial use ( University of Bath); Comparison of Gamma-ray spectra analysis using diverse machine learning methods (University of Coventry) ; Hyperspectral sensing for autonomous nuclear element detection (University of Edinburgh) ; Antineutrino Measurement of Isotopes in Reactors (AMIR)( University of Liverpool) ; Comprehensive Testing and Benchmarking of Muon Tomography Algorithms (University of Sheffield).
Collaborator Contribution Each University has made in kind contributions in supervising in their ECR and covering the costs the Indirect and direct costs of employmen. The NuSec Network Grant award only pays for the ECR salary.
Impact All ECRs presented their research at NuSec Detection Conference April 2019. Other Disciplines covered by the NuSec PDRA research include Engineering, Computing, Chemistry and Mathematics.
Start Year 2019
 
Description NuSec Network Post-Doctoral Support (PDRA) Support Grant Extensions 
Organisation University of Liverpool
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Following a competitive selection process, the NuSec Network extended 5 NuSec Network PDRA posts ( total value ~ £45,000) for up to 3 months each to continue the following Nuclear Security Detection research : - On-line tritated water detection by in situ ATR-FTIR (University of York); Simulation of novel high-quality radiation sources for industrial use ( University of Bath); Comparison of Gamma-ray spectra analysis using diverse machine learning methods (University of Coventry) ; Hyperspectral sensing for autonomous nuclear element detection (University of Edinburgh) ; Antineutrino Measurement of Isotopes in Reactors (AMIR)( University of Liverpool) ; Comprehensive Testing and Benchmarking of Muon Tomography Algorithms (University of Sheffield).
Collaborator Contribution Each University has made in kind contributions in supervising in their ECR and covering the costs the Indirect and direct costs of employmen. The NuSec Network Grant award only pays for the ECR salary.
Impact All ECRs presented their research at NuSec Detection Conference April 2019. Other Disciplines covered by the NuSec PDRA research include Engineering, Computing, Chemistry and Mathematics.
Start Year 2019
 
Description NuSec Network Post-Doctoral Support (PDRA) Support Grant Extensions 
Organisation University of Sheffield
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Following a competitive selection process, the NuSec Network extended 5 NuSec Network PDRA posts ( total value ~ £45,000) for up to 3 months each to continue the following Nuclear Security Detection research : - On-line tritated water detection by in situ ATR-FTIR (University of York); Simulation of novel high-quality radiation sources for industrial use ( University of Bath); Comparison of Gamma-ray spectra analysis using diverse machine learning methods (University of Coventry) ; Hyperspectral sensing for autonomous nuclear element detection (University of Edinburgh) ; Antineutrino Measurement of Isotopes in Reactors (AMIR)( University of Liverpool) ; Comprehensive Testing and Benchmarking of Muon Tomography Algorithms (University of Sheffield).
Collaborator Contribution Each University has made in kind contributions in supervising in their ECR and covering the costs the Indirect and direct costs of employmen. The NuSec Network Grant award only pays for the ECR salary.
Impact All ECRs presented their research at NuSec Detection Conference April 2019. Other Disciplines covered by the NuSec PDRA research include Engineering, Computing, Chemistry and Mathematics.
Start Year 2019
 
Description NuSec Pilot Projects 2018 
Organisation Atomic Weapons Establishment
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The Nuclear Security Science network administers, manages and promotes this scheme, using funding provided to the network by AWE The NuSec Network runs an annual competition for summer pilot projects amongst network members in academia and industry. The scheme is run in partnership with AWE who provide the core project funding. The network takes the lead role in promoting the competition; drafting & distributing application forms and guidance; collating applications for assessment; informing applicants of decisions; issuing contractual paperwork; processing payments and receiving final summary report and poster presentations.
Collaborator Contribution In 2018, AWE provided £21,768 to NuSec to fund 5 summer research projects. The Nuclear Security Science network End User Panel (AWE & Stakeholders from government departments and Agencies) develop assessment criteria and select the projects for funding. The End User panel also provide guidance and support to successful applicants during the research period for example in accessing appropriate information and equipment.
Impact Five Universities were awarded up to £4,000 each (+VAT). Research projects include :- University of Sheffield An investigation of Glass Cherenkov detectors in a pulsed neutron interrogation system; Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Birmingham NESSY - A prototype Neutron Energy Spectrometer for Security; University of Surrey Develop a prototype "telescope"-style detector with a neutron detection capability for deployment as a portable neutron scanner; University of Bristol Develop the SoLiD detector to measure anti-neutrino flux inside nuclear reactor; University of Sheffield & Lab Logic Investigation of neutron and gamma sensitivity in Gddoped plastic scintillator Research was undertaken in the summer by undergraduates and supervised by senior Academics. Industry was also involved in a couple of projects through the loan of research facilities and equipment; Recipients each wrote a Summary report for the NUSEC End User Panel and they will also be presenting a poster of their project at Nuclear Security Detection Workshop on 15-16th April 2019. Aspects of these projects are being taken forward by AWE as part of their ongoing relationships with the PI and other existing projects
Start Year 2018
 
Description NuSec Post-Doctoral Support (PDRA) Support Grants 
Organisation iThemba LABs
Department Nuclear Physics
Country South Africa 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The Nuclear Security Science network has funded and administered a scheme that awards short term PDRA grants to Early Career Researchers, to research Nuclear Security network-related topics in 3 key areas:- 1. Detection systems for nuclear security 2. Algorithms, data and autonomous decision making 3. Alternative technologies for industrial use of radiation sources Grants are worth up to £15,000 each 10 awards have been made to date to 8 Universities to support 3-6 month research projects on a range of Nuclear Security Detection topics. University of Liverpool Antineutrino Measurement of Isotopes in Reactors (AMIR) University of Surrey Drone-deployable gamma detector for nuclear security mapping University of Sheffield Comprehensive Testing and Benchmarking of Muon Tomography Algorithms University College London Neutron sensitivity of HEXITEC and capability in localisation of neutron radiation source University of Coventry Comparison of Gamma-ray spectra analysis using diverse machine learning methods University of Edinburgh Hyperspectral sensing for autonomous nuclear element detection University of York Simulation of novel high-quality radiation sources for industrial use University of Bath On-line tritiated water detection by in situ ATR-FTIR University of Surrey Investigating GAGG:Ce as a potential neutron detector University of York Enhanced Resolution in Large Volume SrI2:Eu Detectors
Collaborator Contribution Each University has made in kind contributions in supervising in their ECR and covering the costs the Indirect and direct costs of employment. The NuSec Network grant award only pays for the ECR salary.
Impact Each PDRA has produced a Project Summary Report describing key achievements and outputs of their research. Each PDRA report their finding's either as a submitted talk or poster at our Nuclear Security Detection Workshop, University of Surrey 15-16 April 2019. University College London (UCL) PDRA - Neutron sensitivity of HEXITEC and capability in localisation of neutron radiation source have continued to look at the performance of the HEXITEC sensor to different radiations and applications to other STFC funded projects including Neutron dosimetry in proton therapy and Compton cameras for mixed environments. All PDRAs presented their research at our NuSec Detection Workshop in April 2019. Presentations and poster can be view on our Workshop website https://indico.cern.ch/event/731980/timetable/#20190415.detailed
Start Year 2018
 
Description Nuclear Security Summer Pilot Projects 
Organisation Atomic Weapons Establishment
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The Nuclear Security Science network funds and administers an annual competition for summer pilot projects amongst network members in academia and industry. The scheme is run in partnership with AWE who provide the core project funding. The network takes the lead role in promoting the competition;drafting & distributing application forms and guidance; collating applications for assessment; informing applicants of decisions; issuing contractual paperwork; processing payments and receiving final summary report and poster presentations.
Collaborator Contribution The NuSec network manages and promotes this scheme, using funding provided to the network by AWE. In 2016, AWE provided £17,598 to NuSec to fund 5 summer research projects. The Nuclear Security Science network End User Panel (AWE & Stakeholders from government departments and Agencies) develop assessment criteria and select the projects for funding. The End User panel also provide guidance and support to successful applicants during the research period for example in accessing appropriate information and equipment.
Impact Five applicants awarded up to £4,000 each. Research projects undertaken in Summer 2016 :- Colloid interaction with Muons, Liverpool John Moores University; Digital SiPMs for Spectroscopic Measurement, University of York; Evidential Reasoning for Radiological Detection, University of Leicester Passive radiation imaging, University of Manchester;Thallium Bromide sensors, University of Liverpool; Each project produced a Summary report and an A1 poster which they presented at the 12th Sept NuSec network Imaging and Localisation technical meeting. AWE are providing further advice to help two research projects develop further, Evidential Reasoning, University of Leicester and Passive radiation imaging, University of Manchester.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Summer 2019 Nuclear Security Summer Pilot Projects 
Organisation Atomic Weapons Establishment
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Following an external competition in Spring 2019, the NuSec Science Network made awards ~ £4,000 to five Universities for early stage research on topics that could enhance the field of nuclear security. Imperial College - London - Increasing the statistics of sparse detector data using GANs Queen Mary College University of London - Organic Field Effect Transistor Radiation Detector Development University College London - Prototype Radical Detector for Nuclear Security University of Bristol - Developing the next-generation shipping container scanning system University of Surrey - A Novel Compact Thermal Neutron Detector
Collaborator Contribution The Home Office via AWE provided the funding for these awards ~£4,000 Universities applied for an award, sourced a suitable undergraduate student, supervised student research, production of Research Report and A0 poster. Industry were also involved in some of the projects through the loan of research facilities and equipment. Aspects of these projects will also be taken forward by AWE as part of their ongoing relationships with the project teams and will developed further in new MSc and Phd research projects.
Impact NuSec Science Network and AWE have agreed to fund a Phd Studentship at the University of Bristol to Develop the next-generation shipping container scanning system starting in October 2020.
Start Year 2019
 
Description A Technology Roadmap - Identifying Alternative Technologies for Radiation Sources in the Oil Industry 17th January, 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact In January 2018, the NuSec network, AWE and the Institute for Manufacturing (IfM) organised a workshop in Cambridge with key stakeholders and subject matter experts from the UK & US energy industry, nuclear security, academia, Government agencies.

The aims of the workshop were to:-

• Identify a potential list of alternative technologies for well loggers;
• Scope out the best alternative technologies and identify the required developments, including the identification of any specific enablers (e.g. partner organisations, funding) and barriers;
• Provide evidence for policy, programme and funding requirements to stakeholders (e.g. regulatory bodies, the UK government, RCUK).

Overall, 24 alternative technologies were assessed in detail using pre-selected criteria of opportunity and feasibility. Five technologies were then selected for further exploration during the workshop. These included:-
? Acoustic;
? Pulsed neutron generators;
? Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR);
? Data analytics and modelling;
? X-rays.

A road mapping technique (a structured visual framework) was used to explore each of these technologies. Small focus groups assessed the technology developments required for their commercialisation, as well as the milestones and the energy industry adjustments required for their adoption. Current and anticipated enablers were identified, as well as barriers that limit the worldwide adoption of each technology.

The following actions were considered important for reducing and eventually eliminating the use of radiological or nuclear material by the energy industry.

• Continuation of engagement of all actors, including the UK Home Office, BEIS and the US government;
• Communication of results to SPWLA Nuclear Logging SIG, Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) and the individual organisations that participated in the workshop;
• Identification of a project with industry and operators to compare data between different techniques;
• Promoting more education of industry (especially drilling engineers) about the risks of using RN sources;
• Generating more topic roadmaps on other technologies that were not assessed during the workshop.

The evidence has been presented to industry, regulatory bodies, the UK government, RCUK to facilitate policy, programme and investment decisions for their adoption of non radiation sources by the sector.

The NuSec Science Network, University of Sheffield and Lab logic have jointly agreed to fund a PhD Studentship starting in October 2020, at the University of Sheffield to develop an operational borehole detector prototype.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.nusec.uk/news/2018/03/28/a-roadmap-for-the-use-of-non-radiological-sources-in-well-loggi...
 
Description NuSec Network Personal Development Grants 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact The Nuclear Security Network Personal Development Grant award scheme is aimed at strengthening the research and innovation capacity of Nuclear Security Scientists and developing new collaborations between researchers and partner organisations. This could be by attending a Nuclear Security Science related Research Conference, Training Course or an Industrial Placement within or outside of the UK.

Awards of up to £1-2,000 are available to ECRs though 50% matched funding is normally required. There is an open application deadline and the applicant is informed of a decision within 2 - 4 weeks of submission.

To date, we have made 23 awards to PhD students at UK Universities totalling more than £23,000 to support attendance and collaborations at Nuclear Security Science events and courses in Europe, the USA and Australia.

Events include 5th - 9th March 2017, Waste Management Symposium, Phoenix (AZ, USA)
21st-28th October 2017, IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium and Medical Imaging Conference, Atlanta, Georgia
April 3rd - 7th 2017: ESARDA COURSE on Nuclear Safeguards and Non Proliferation, Ispra,
6-8th Sept Electromagnetic Non Destructive Evaluation (ENDE) conference, Saclay, France
21st-28th October 2017 IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium and Medical Imaging Conference, Atlanta, Georgia,
Nuclear Institute Young Generation Network Introduction to Defence 16th & 17th October 2018, HMNB Clyde, Faslane.
10 - 17 Nov 2018 IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium and Medical Imaging Conference, Sydney, Australia,
17th-21st June & 2019 International conference on Advancements in Nuclear Instrumentation Measurement Methods and their Applications (ANIMMA), Portorož, Slovenia
26th October - 2nd November 2019, IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium and Medical Imaging Conference (MIC), Manchester,

ECRs made presentations at events either as submitted talk or posters and attended specialist workshops during these events themselves.

They have also built new collaborations with other academic and industrial researchers who are working on similar topics.

Discussions and networking with other researchers and development specialists have helped each ECR to overcome some technical research challenges and will help influence the future direction of their PhD research.

We have also supported an ECR to complete the Certified Nuclear Security Professional Course, World Institute for Nuclear Security (WINS).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018
URL https://www.nusec.uk/personal-developments-grants
 
Description NuSec Technical Workshop - Algorithms for Autonomous Decision Making in Nuclear Security, 18th September 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The Network held its second technical workshop in London, September 2017. It focused on the role of Algorithms in Nuclear Security and the Data required for the application and testing of these algorithms. Around 60 researchers from Academia, Industry and Government attended.
Presentations were given by leading researchers working on Algorithms and Data in the morning and two parallel interactive sessions were run in the afternoon. One session focused on Improving the Use of Algorithms in Nuclear Security and was facilitated by Prof Simon Maskell of Liverpool University. It highlighted that there is a need for sensor and algorithmic developers to work more closely together; that algorithms are required to anticipate potential future deception and for them to explicitly optimise the composite human-machine system that demand extensions to the state-of-the-art.
The second parallel session was facilitated by Dr Matthew Stapleton of AWE and focused on ways to obtain Data to help develop further algorithm research. It concluded that whilst there are data sources in the public domain and there is also a significant amount of valuable data that is not available to the public. Industry and government need to work better at sharing data. There is a need to structure both the problem and the type of solution being sought from the data.
A brief report was produced that summarised the key outputs of the workshop. In summary, the following issues were highlighted:
- Developers of algorithms and generators of data are often in different groups. They often have different requirements. By better integrating these groups would mean improved communication and produce long term benefits to both the developers and users of algorithms.
- Requirements capture for developers of algorithms tend to be local and project specific however this limits application of the data. Techniques to capture or allow for future requirements would expand the scope of the work being done and potential work for the future.
- Comprehensively capturing the properties of algorithms and background and context of data will ensure that it is used correctly in its direct project and suitable for future use.
- Opportunities exist in the form of existing data but work needs to be done to make it accessible and available.

Our overall recommendations for the future include:-
Greater efforts are required by Academics, Industry and Government to make existing data more accessible and available.
Developers of algorithms and data producers should be involved in the same discussions.
A more comprehensive capture of the properties of algorithms, its background and data context will ensure that it is used correctly for its initial purpose and other future uses.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.nusec.uk
 
Description Nuclear Security Detection Workshop 15-16 April 2019, University of Surrey 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Our NuSec Workshop will focus on current and future technical challenges in nuclear security detection and the program will include keynote invited speakers, submitted talks, and poster presentations across the following topics:

• Nuclear Security detection systems
• Algorithms and Autonomous Decision Making
• Particle Detection for core monitoring
• UAV Monitoring and Environmental Measurements
• He-3 mitigation for neutron detectors

Invited speakers from Government, Industry and Academia included: -
Invited speakers included:
• David Peterson (US Defense Threat Reduction Agency) "DTRA Basic Research Support for Radiation Detection"
• John Mattingly (North Carolina State University) "Consortium for Nonproliferation Enabling Capabilities (CNEC): Mission and Accomplishments"
• Rob Buckingham (UKAEA, RACE Robotics Centre) "Relying on robotics: towards remotely operated inspection and maintenance in high hazard scenarios"
• Robert Speller (UCL) "Imaging and locating radioactive isotopes for security"
• Lee Thompson (University of Sheffield) "Monitoring nuclear reactor neutrinos with WATCHMAN/AIT"
• Jeremy Edward (CBRN) Overview of CRBN UK
• Rob Gordon (CBRN) CBRN Information Management as a Service
• Dave Crouch (3M) and Peter Hiller (NNL) Challenges of Working in a Nuclear Environment
• Steve Holloway AWE Improving the win-win rate for Suppliers and Customers involved in the expanding radiometric marketplace
• Matthew Goodwin AWE Beta-Gamma Coincidence Spectrometry in Support of the CTBT
• Hank Zhu (DTRA) DTRA-sponsored Helium-3 Alternative Technologies: mature and mass producible technologies
• Gwenaelle Lefeuvre (Micron Semiconductor) CVD diamond sensors for neutron detection
• Steve Holloway Overview of Neutron Detection for Nuclear Threat Reduction

The Workshop included 31 invited speakers, 31 poster presenters and 113 participants from the US & UK Academics, Govementment and Industrial Communites. Many ECRs presenters have been funded by our NuSec Network PDRA and Pilot Projects grant scheme.

There will also be an Academic-Industrial collaboration session on Monday afternoon, lead by CBRN-UK and He-3 mitigation for neutron detectors lead by AWE.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://indico.cern.ch/event/731980/
 
Description Nuclear Security Detection workshop and network launch 16 March 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The STFC Innovations Club jointly with the STFC Nuclear Security Science Network hosted a knowledge exchange and network launch event with Academic, Industrial and Government stakeholders on current and novel applications of Nuclear Security radiation detectors and detection techniques. This event was intended for:

• Industry interested to know more about current knowledge exchange and commercialisation opportunities from UK radiation detection community

• All stakeholders and researchers who are interested in participating in the Nuclear Security Sciences network

• Industrial and Government researchers looking for academic partners for specific development projects

• STFC funded researchers working in radiation detectors developments wanting to get more involved in knowledge exchange and the funding available

• Academic researchers from allied fields looking to find partners or develop capability in nuclear detection.


Presentations were made by Home Office, University College London. Oxford, Liverpool, AWE, CBRN, STFC and Knowledge Transfer Network. Topics included Nuclear Security Detection challenges; Academic/Industrial Collaboration Case Studies; End User Requirements; UK & EU & STFC Funding Opportunities and Industrial Support.

The workshop launched the STFC Nuclear Security Science Network, and help to inform its future work programme.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.nusec.uk/events/
 
Description Nuclear Security Network Imaging and Localisation Technical Workshop, London, 12th September 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Following on from our successful launch of the Nuclear Security Network on 16 March 2016, this technical workshop focused on current Imaging and Detection Techniques and was open to attendees from Academia, Industry and Government working in Nuclear Security Detection, or with an interest to collaborate in this field.

This Technical Workshop was aimed at Researchers (academic, industry and government) wishing to deepen their technical knowledge of Nuclear Security Sciences. The technical focus of this event was Nuclear Security Imaging and Localisation techniques.

Presentations we made by Industry and Academics. They included Airport Security Imaging - Rapiscan; Real-time event selection - Imperial College; Real time imaging - Liverpool University and Interrogation techniques - AWE.

The Panels discussion on 3 questions 1. The biggest technical challenge in your recent work? 2. What near-term technology breakthrough would you like to see? 3. Is there a game-changing technology that we should be trying to address ? also generated audience comment and feedback.

Posters presentations over a interactive lunch were made by 5 universities:
Colloid interaction with Muons, Liverpool John Moores University
Digital SiPMs for Spectroscopic Measurement, University of York
Evidential Reasoning for Radiological Detection, University of Leicester
Passive radiation imaging, University of Manchester
Thallium Bromide sensors, University of Liverpool
This generated discussion amongst individuals on the research and next steps in taking the work forward.

The event was also used to promote NuSec Network; Industry Opportunities including potential collaborative External Funding bids and the launch of new NuSec Personal Development Grants.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.nusec.uk/events/
 
Description Nuclear Security Network Website 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The aim of the new NuSec Science network website is to disseminate information about its operation and activities to researchers, practitioners and policy makers working in the Nuclear Security sector. Activities include NuSec Meetings, opportunities and those of other organisations.

Our website has also been used to promote events and funding opportunities hosted by other academic and publicly funded organisations working in Nuclear security .

Detailed and sensitive Information i.e. Events and Meetings Papers are password protected and can only be accessed by registered NuSec network and meeting group members.

The main impacts of the website have been to promote NuSec network activities and provide a cost effective & efficient central information point for those interested in nuclear detection research, training and funding opportunities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.nusec.uk
 
Description Nuclear Security government stakeholder panel 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The NuSec Science network hosts regular meetings of its End User Panel, which is an invited group of leading Nuclear Science Academics, Government Departments (Home Office, Dept of Transport, Dept. of Energy & Climate Change, defra, Dept of health, Dept for Buisness Energy & Industrial strategy, Centre for Protection of National Infrastructure) and Industrial Representatives (NNL, AWE)

Their role is to advise the Network on its proposed activities and events.

The End User Panel is a group of approximately 10 people covering a range of government departments and government agencies, chaired by AWE.

They meet 3 times per year, and advise the network management group on current government and industry interests and priorities in nuclear security.

They also assess and select the Nuclear Security Summer Research Project.

The Management Group comprises of 8 people largely from leading Universities in the field of nuclear security (Cambridge, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, Surrey ) , AWE CBRN UK. The group meets quarterly and advises and steers network activities and comments on Training Development Grant applications.


The Strategic Advisory Board meets annually and includes representatives from Home Office and Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. They provide an independent oversight and advice to the Management Group on the strategy, operation and delivery of the network.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017,2018,2019,2020
URL http://www.nusec.uk