Recently, much attention has been paid to ZnSe(Te) semiconductor scintillator because of its excellent scintillation characteristics. Linear-array detector modules based on the conventional CdWO4 (CWO) and new ZnSe(Te) scintillator blocks were fabricated and tested for comparison for the purpose of applying them in X-ray inspection system. From the point of view of photocurrent and of detective quantum efficiency (DQE), ZnSe(Te) showed better performance in the low-energy X-ray system and was competitive to CWO in the high-energy X-ray system when the depth of scintillator is optimized to the energy in use. The site test of these modules in a prototype container inspection system using 340 kVp X-ray showed equivalent image qualities. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.