The 10th World Conference on Neutron Radiography (WCNR-10) took place from 5th to 10th October in Grindelwald, a beautiful site surrounded by the Swiss Alps. Four years ago at WCNR-9 in Kwa-Maritane, South Africa, the Paul Scherrer Institut (PSI) was elected by the participants to host WCNR-10. A team around the ISNR president Eberhard Lehmann tried the very best to provide optimal conditions for the participants from all parts of the world to discuss latest developments in the field of neutron imaging.
Conference photo at WCNR-10
The resonance from the call for abstracts was overwhelming and it was a difficult job to select the very best contributions out of more than 200 submitted abstracts for the tight program of the conference. At the end, about 80 talks were presented, including presentations by some companies during workshops. In addition a well attended poster session with more than 100 contributions was established.
The four days of talks and discussions (October 6th to 9th) were structured into a morning session and a night session with a longer break during lunch time. This gave the participants a chance to get familiar with the Swiss mountains and the country side. Alternatively, three mini-workshops were offered to the participants during the afternoon for exchange of knowledge and experience on the topics neutron imaging detectors, data handling and treatment as well as on the link to neutron scattering.
The conference was attended by 170 persons from 29 countries, representing all major centers with neutron imaging activities. For the first time, more users than operators of the neutron imaging facilities participated. This clearly indicates how much neutron imaging has developed from a tool for non-destructive testing towards research techniques with sophisticated new options applicable in many fields.
The progress in neutron imaging was documented during the conference by the presentation of 12 new projects and finalized installations, including upgrades. Most important are the planned beam lines at all new spallation neutron sources (IMAT at ISIS (UK), RADEN at JPARC (Japan), VENUS at SNS (USA) and ODIN at ESS). In the same way, it is important that countries like Russia, China, Australia and France (re-)start their activities at their established neutron sources. The bottlenecks are still the developing countries with modern reactor sources but low utilization, in particular for neutron imaging. A few countries, partly supported by IAEA, enabled the participation in WCNR-10 in order to get information about state-of-the-art in the field of neutron imaging.
The presenting companies dealing with scintillator development and production, camera support and software development gave reasons to discuss about new setups and system improvements.
The majority of the participants traveled to PSI on October 10th where a presentation of the institute and its large scale research facilities was given. Hands on discussions about the two neutron imaging facilities at SINQ and for the one for X-rays at SLS were possible during the visits.
Panorama view of SINQ
The conference was successfully finished by the ceremony for the new Honorary Member of the ISNR Marton Balasko (Hungary) and the hand-over to the newly elected president Ulf Garbe who took over the responsibility to host the WCNR-11 in Australia in 2018. The election of the new board of members by the participants resulted in 5 new members while 5 members were reeleceted giving hopefully both, continuation and revitalisation to the ISNR.
Four former presidents of ISNR (from left to right: John Barton, M. Arif, Frikkie de Beer, Eberhard Lehmann and the actual president Ulf Garbe .
The leaving president Eberhard Lehmann (right) and his successor Ulf Garbe (left).