IAEA Tomography reconstruction and analysis challenge
Challenge Status: Closed
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What we do today
Verification of nuclear material is paramount in the overall effectiveness of nuclear safeguards. The IAEA is trying to improve the verification process of spent nuclear fuel with advanced data processing techniques.
A spent fuel assembly (SFA) can be approximated as a set of 3 m long fuel pins, each about 1 cm in diameter, filled with highly radioactive material. An example of a fuel assembly structure is shown on the right (Fig 1.)
The Passive Gamma Emission Tomography (PGET) instrument was developed by the IAEA, in collaboration with several Member States, for the verification of spent nuclear fuel. The PGET consists of an array of collimated gamma detectors (and two neutron detectors) that are rotated in the horizontal plane. The measurements are performed underwater, with an SFA placed in the centre of the toroidal shaped detector platform.
The projection data (count rates in each detector at each rotation position) obtained from the rotation through a full 2π angular range (one complete revolution) is known as a sinogram.
A cross-sectional image, showing a two-dimensional distribution of the gamma emitters (i.e. fuel pins) within the entire SFA, is reconstructed from the measured sinogram. In the reconstructed image, fuel pins appear as bright spots and missing pin locations appear as dark regions. The reconstructed images are analysed for the missing pins as part of the verification process.
What we want to improve
Presently, the IAEA is able to reliably identify missing pins inside a SFA. However, the IAEA is unable to automatically determine the activity levels of individual pins from the PGET data with high levels of confidence. This becomes exceedingly difficult in certain cases, such as very compact fuel assemblies of fast neutron reactor fuel elements.
The IAEA is seeking new image reconstruction processing techniques, resulting in a more accurate assessment of the locations and count of missing pins, and a more accurate calculation of the relative activities of individual pins.
Phases of the challenge
|1. Registration||Registration open since 21 January 2019. Late registrations are possible up to the submission deadline.||21 January – 9 June|
|2. Training||Training data available for download since 28 January 2019. It will remain accessible up to the submission deadline.||28 January – 31 May|
|3. Competition and submission||Competition data available for download on 3 June 2019. Deadline for submitting the solution is 9 June 2019.||3 – 9 June 2019|
|4. Evaluation||Evaluation of results by a panel of IAEA experts.||10 June – 10 July|
|5. Presentation and prize ceremony||Invitation sent to the selected participants.||By 31 July 2019|
|Technical meeting with demonstration of algorithms using new data and prize ceremony at the IAEA HQ in Vienna, Austria.||September 2019|
During the training phase, registered participants can access several training data sets, generated both from mockup fuel assemblies of 60Co pins and from actual spent fuel assemblies. Registered participants can experiment and optimize various processing techniques on increasingly difficult data sets to be reconstructed and analysed. At any time during the training phase, participants can:
- gain full access to the technical documents;
- access to the Questions & Answer page for any clarifications needed from the IAEA; and
- submit their latest results and receive feedback on their performance. The results generated during this phase are solely for training purposes, and are not taken into account in the final evaluation of the challenge.
During the competition and submission phase, registered challenge participants are given new data sets consisting of sinograms with unknown geometry. Participants shall process the competition data sets and submit within one week the following deliverables, as per the instructions of the website:
- reconstructed images from the competition data sets;
- total and missing pin counts;
- calculated relative pin activities; and
- a technical report, in English language, describing the processing strategy.
Reception of the submitted deliverables will be acknowledged by the IAEA.
The Questions & Answer page will be still accessible to registered participants during the competition phase, however only administrative questions will be answered, at the discretion of the IAEA.
Competition and submission phase
During the evaluation phase, a panel of IAEA experts will evaluate the submitted deliverables using the following criteria:
- reconstructed image quality (e.g. contrast, spatial resolution, image noise, artefacts);
- accuracy of processing (pin count and activity levels);
- computation speed and complexity of setup;
- need for a-priori information in processing; and
- innovative content of the solution.
The IAEA may request the participants to clarify or provide additional details as necessary.
Up to three participants will be selected by the panel of IAEA experts as the challenge laureate(s), provided the scientific content of the deliverables is found to be technically compliant. The challenge laureate(s) will be invited to the IAEA HQ in Vienna to present the technical reports, demonstrate the algorithms on additional data, and discuss the IAEA tomographic reconstruction/analysis needs.
One laureate will be selected as the challenge winner and will receive the main prize in the amount of 10 000 EUR to cover the participation costs and travel expenses. Up to two challenge laureate(s) will receive supporting prize(s) of 3 000 EUR each.
The prize(s) will be paid to the winner and the laureate(s) upon delivery of the technical report(s) and presentation(s) at the IAEA HQ in Vienna, Austria. All participates will be informed of their overall performance and ranking within the challenge at the conclusion of the Evaluation phase and in conjunction with the invitations to the challenge laureate(s).
Presentation and prize ceremony phase
The IAEA will invite Participants to submit commercial proposals in accordance with IAEA procurement policy. The commercial proposals will be evaluated based on the final technical scores at the end of Stage 4 Evaluation as well as commercial acceptability of the Financial Proposal and Contractual compliance.
A Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA a.k.a. IDIQ, Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity) will be awarded to the Bidders that submit the best value for money combining “cost and quality”. If applicable, selected participants shall transfer the software source-code to allow the IAEA to customize the solution on its own. The IAEA may award multiple Agreements related to this project.
Procurement (Request for Proposal and Contracting)