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Designing radiation protection for a linear accelerator: using Monte carlo-simulations
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Framtagning av förslag på förstärkt strålskydd för en linjäraccelerator : med hjälp av Monte Carlo-simuleringar (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

The department of Radiation Sciences at Umeå University has obtained an old linear accelerator, intended for educational purposes. The goal of this thesis was to find proper reinforced radiation protection in an intended bunker (a room with thick concrete walls), to ensure that the radiation outside the bunker falls within acceptable levels. The main method was with the use of Monte Carlo-simulations.

To properly simulate the accelerator, knowledge of the energy distribution of emitted radiation was needed. For this, a novel method for spectra determination, using several depth dose measurements including off-axis, was developed. A method that shows promising results in finding the spectra when measurements outside the primary beam are included. The found energy spectrum was then used to simulate the accelerator in the intended bunker. The resulting dose distribution was visualized together with 3D CAD-images of the bunker, to easily see in which locations outside the bunker where the dose was high.

An important finding was that some changes are required to ensure that the public does not receive too high doses of radiation on a public outdoor-area that is located above the bunker. Otherwise, the accelerator is only allowed to be run 1.8 hours per year. A workaround to this problem could be to just plant a thorn bush, covering the dangerous area of radius 3m. After such a measure has been taken, which is assumed in the following results, the focus moves to the radiation that leaks into the accelerator’s intended control room, which is located right outside the bunker’s entrance door.

The results show that the accelerator is only allowed to be run for a maximum of 6.1 or 3.3 hours per year (depending on the placement of the accelerator in the room), without a specific extra reinforced radiation protection consisting mainly of lead bricks. With the specific extra protection added, the accelerator is allowed to be run 44 or 54 hours per year instead, showing a distinct improvement. However, the dose rate to the control room was still quite high, 13.7 μGy/h or 11.2 μGy/h, compared to the average dose received by someone living in Sweden, which is 0.27 μGy/h. Therefore, further measures are recommended. This is however a worst case scenario, since the leakage spectrum from the accelerator itself was simulated as having the same energy spectrum as the primarybeam at 0.1 % of the intensity, which is the maximum leakage dose according to the specifications for the accelerator. This is probably an overestimation of the intensity. Also, the energy spectra of the leakage is probably of lower energy than the primary beam in at least some directions. Implementing more knowledge of the leak spectra in future work, should therefore result in more allowed run hours for the accelerator.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 59
Keywords [en]
linac, linear accelerator, accelerator, mega voltage photons, spectra determination, high energy photons, Monte carlo, simulations, radiation transport, dose, radiation, radiation protection
National Category
Accelerator Physics and Instrumentation Atom and Molecular Physics and Optics Other Medical Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-160202OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-160202DiVA, id: diva2:1325128
Subject / course
Examensarbete i teknisk fysik
Educational program
Master of Science Programme in Engineering Physics
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-06-18 Created: 2019-06-14 Last updated: 2019-06-18Bibliographically approved

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