The total emission of radiation is a crucial quantity to calculate the power balances and to understand the physics of any Tokamak. Bolometric systems are the main tool to measure this important physical quantity through quite sophisticated tomographic inversion methods. On the Joint European Torus, the coverage of the bolometric diagnostic, due to the availability of basically only two projection angles, is quite limited, rendering the inversion a very ill-posed mathematical problem. A new approach, based on the maximum likelihood, has therefore been developed and implemented to alleviate one of the major weaknesses of traditional tomographic techniques: the difficulty to determine routinely the confidence intervals in the results. The method has been validated by numerical simulations with phantoms to assess the quality of the results and to optimise the configuration of the parameters for the main types of emissivity encountered experimentally. The typical levels of statistical errors, which may significantly influence the quality of the reconstructions, have been identified. The systematic tests with phantoms indicate that the errors in the reconstructions are quite limited and their effect on the total radiated power remains well below 10%. A comparison with other approaches to the inversion and to the regularization has also been performed.