Investigation of Workplace-like Calibration Fields via a Deuterium-Tritium (D-T) Neutron Generator

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Abstract

Radiation survey meters and personal dosimeters are typically calibrated in reference neutron fields based on conventional radionuclide sources, such as americium-beryllium (Am-Be) or californium‐252 (252Cf), either unmodified or heavy-water moderated. However, these calibration neutron fields differ significantly from the workplace fields in which most of these survey meters and dosimeters are being used. Although some detectors are designed to yield an approximately dose-equivalent response over a particular neutron energy range, the response of other detectors is highly dependent upon neutron energy. This, in turn, can result in significant over- or underestimation of the intensity of neutron radiation and/or personal dose equivalent determined in the work environment. The use of simulated workplace neutron calibration fields that more closely match those present at the workplace could improve the accuracy of worker, and workplace, neutron dose assessment. This work provides an overview of the neutron fields found around nuclear power reactors and interim spent fuel storage installations based on available data. The feasibility of producing workplace-like calibration fields in an existing calibration facility has been investigated via Monte Carlo simulations. Several moderating assembly configurations, paired with a neutron generator using the deuterium tritium (D-T) fusion reaction, were explored.

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