• NATALIA SOUSA

Phoenix Plans To Establish Second Neutron Imaging Facility In California

Phoenix, who designs and develops compact neutron generators for neutron imaging, radiation effects and survivability testing, has announced plans to construct a second neutron imaging centre. The second facility will be near the aerospace, defence and tech hub of the San Francisco Bay Area in northern California to address the regional demand for commercially available neutron radiography services.



This announcement follows the company's first Phoenix Neutron Imaging Center, which opened in Fitchburg, 2019. PNIC is one of the only sites in the world to offer production-scale, high-quality neutron radiography (N-ray), a powerful industrial nondestructive testing method for quality assurance, R&D, and failure analysis. Unlike most other N-ray providers, Phoenix utilizes proprietary accelerator-based neutron generator technology as the neutron source for the N-ray processes.


The planned west-coast neutron imaging facility would provide a variety of critical aerospace and defence nondestructive testing (NDT) services, including thermal neutron radiography (film and digital), fast neutron radiography, thermal and fast neutron computed tomography (CT), X-ray imaging, X-ray CT, radiation effects testing, and neutron activation analysis. The facility is expected to expand beyond a dedicated NDT service centre into a regional manufacturing and engineering hub that will attract top talent from the California and West Coast university system to support Phoenix's growth.


The facility plans to support the growing US space and defence sector by providing critical inspection capabilities to energetic device manufacturers such as Pacific Scientific Energetic Materials Company (PacSci EMC). Energetic devices are crucial for aircraft, spacecraft and satellites, acting as the catalysts of ejection, payload separation, and explosive signal transfer systems. So the ability to reliably and nondestructively inspect them using neutron imaging is paramount.

"PacSci EMC is committed to the highest levels of safety and quality in all our products. We use non-destructive inspection techniques such as neutron imaging to ensure our products perform exactly as designed. We're pleased that Phoenix has chosen the Bay Area as a location for its next neutron imaging facility, as it fills a critical gap in the defence and aerospace nondestructive testing industrial base," says PacSci EMC President Greg Scaven.


"Placing a new Phoenix neutron imaging centre on the West Coast would allow Phoenix to better provide new and existing clients in critical industries access to this important technology that helps ensure their products are free from potentially catastrophic defects, significantly improving the security of a critical defence supply chain,"

says Phoenix president Dr. Evan Sengbusch.