Preliminary Determination of Activation Products for a Varian Truebeam Linear Accelerator

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Medical linear accelerators used to treat various forms of cancers are operated at a number of different energies. A by-product of the high-energy photons produced by accelerators is activation of components within the machine itself and its surrounding bunker. The activation products pose radiological and regulatory challenges during the operation of the accelerator as well as when it is time for final decommissioning. The Varian TrueBeam is a new state-of-the-art linear accelerator now operating in the Canadian market. There is currently limited information on the production of its activation products and the resulting impacts on operation and decommissioning. In this paper, activation products in the Varian TrueBeam accelerator are experimentally determined by performing gamma spectroscopy using a portable high purity germanium detector. A total of 10 isotopes are identified for the conditions tested, which include 24Na, 28Al, 56Mn, 57Ni, 64Cu, 66Cu, 82Br, 122Sb, 124Sb, 187W. The half-lives of these isotopes range from 2.3 min to 60.2 d. These preliminary results indicate that a decommissioning case similar to other radiotherapy accelerators can be made.

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