The 9th conference in the ITMNR series "Applications of Neutron Imaging for Science, Industry and Heritage" has been held completely as an in-person meeting in Buenos Argentina, between October 17th and 21st 2022. The meeting took place at the Kirchner Cultural Center (17-19), and was closed at Palacio San Miguel (21).
Group picture in the last day (21/10/2022) of the ITMNR-9 meeting
The conference follows ITMNR-8 at Beijing in 2016 and it was originally scheduled for 2020, but it was postponed due to the COVID pandemia, so it was the first in-person meeting of the neutron imaging community after a long period. ITMNR-9 was co-organized by ISNR and Argentina's Atomic Energy Commission (CNEA), which is leading the construction of a novel 30 MW multi-purpose research reactor located near Buenos Aires city, called RA-10. The reactor will host the Argentine Neutron Beam Laboratory (LAHN), where a state-of-the-art neutron imaging instrument for cold neutrons - ASTOR- is being developed. On Thursday 20, ITMNR-9 attendants participated of a visit to the RA-10 site, where they could see buildings as well as the details of the neutron beam channels before the start of the reactor.
ITMNR-9 participants visit to the RA-10 reactor site.
The conference had 11 oral sessions (58 contributions including 2 Keynote and 9 invited speakers) and one poster session (53 posters) covering topics on applications and technical developments including: Instruments, Nuclear materials, Hydrogen & processes, Materials Science & Engineering, Detectors, Methods & Analysis, Electrochemistry, Earth Science & miscellaneous applications, Software and Tomography. There were also two sessions with 47 posters presentations.
A total of 99 participants from sixteen countries (Argentina , Australia, Bolivia, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland, Thailand, The Netherlands, United Kingdom and United States), with 26 of them from Argentina, whom seven oral presentations demonstrated the interest in the technique that accompanies the deployment of the new neutron imaging instrument.
ITMNR-9 started with the keynote lecture from Dr Nikolay Kardjilov from HZB about the many the successes of the instrument CONRAD during its 15 years of operation, whilst Dr Pierre Boillat presented a keynote lecture on the important applications of neutron imaging in the characterization and understanding of electrochemical devices for the energy transition, in the session dedicated to Electrochemistry.
Remarkable advances in the session dedicated to detector technology, new scintillators, unpowered solid state devices, high -resolution event-mode detectors and very economical CMOS sensors. The progress reported by projects for new high-flux neutron imaging instruments (ODIN, VENUS, ASTOR), upgrades in existing instruments (Next 2.0, NEUTRA 2.0, JRR-3), and for upgrades and new facilities at small reactors (VR-1, RA-6, TRR-1/M1) foresee a bright future for neutron imaging.
The conference had seven sponsors from around the world: Swiss Neutronics, Phoenix, Tibidabo, Mirrotron, Tritec, Amsterdam Scientific Instruments and Volume Graphics, who had the opportunity to present their novel products and interact with the participants during the breaks. ITMNR-9 was funded of IAEA, which allowed us to support the trip of two participants from Thailand and Bolivia.
The book of abstracts of ITMNR-9 can be downloaded from the conference website (https://itmnr-9.sciencesconf.org/resource/page/id/15.
Finally, we are now in the process of receiving the proceedings of ITMNR-9, which will be published free of charge as open access articles in the Journal of Physics-Conference Series, edited by IOP, UK. So far, 41 authors have expressed their intention to present their work as a paper.
The next ITMNR Conference will take place in France in 2026.