Mask inspection is an outstanding challenge for Extreme Ultra-Violet Lithography (EUVL). The purpose of this investigation is to compare imaging characteristics of ArF and KrF inspection sources to imaging characteristics using a source at the Lyman-alpha line of Hydrogen at 121.6nm (HLA). HLA provides a raw resolution improvement of 37% to ArF and 51% to KrF, based on proportional wavelength scaling. The HLA wavelength is in an atmospheric transmission window, so a vacuum environment is not required. Our comparison uses rigorous vector imaging techniques to simulate partially coherent illumination schemes and reasonably accurate mask material properties and dimensions. Contrast is evaluated for representative spatial frequencies. Imaging and detection of defects are also considered with NILS and MEEF. The goal is high throughput inspection with maximum resolution, contrast, and sensitivity.