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Investigation of thermal neutron detection capability of a CdZnTe detector in a mixed gamma-neutron radiation field

Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate the thermal neutron measurement capability of a CdZnTe detector irradiated in a mixed gamma-neutron radiation field. A CdZnTe detector was irradiated in one of the irradiation tubes of a 241Am-Be source unit to determine the sensitivity factors of the detector in terms of peak count rate (counts per second [cps]) per neutron flux (in square centimeters per second) [cps/neutron·cm−2·s−1]. The CdZnTe detector was covered in a 1-mm-thick cadmium (Cd) cylindrical box to completely absorb incoming thermal neutrons via 113Cd(n,γ) capture reactions. To achieve, this Cd-covered CdZnTe detector was placed in a well-thermalized neutron field (f-ratio = 50.9 ± 1.3) in the irradiation tube of the 241Am-Be neutron source. The gamma-ray spectra were acquired, and the most intense gamma-ray peak at 558 keV (0.74 γ/n) was evaluated to estimate the thermal neutron flux. The epithermal component was also estimated from the bare CdZnTe detector irradiation because the epithermal neutron cutoff energy is about 0.55 eV at the 1-mm-thick Cd filter. A high-density polyethylene moderating cylinder box can also be fitted into the Cd filter box to enhance thermal sensitivity because of moderation of the epithermal neutron component. Neutron detection sensitivity was determined from the measured count rates from the 558 keV photopeak, using the measured neutron fluxes at different irradiation positions. The results indicate that the CdZnTe detector can serve as a neutron detector in mixed gamma-neutron radiation fields, such as reactors, neutron generators, linear accelerators, and isotopic neutron sources. New thermal neutron filters, such as Gd and Tb foils, can be tested instead of the Cd filter due to its serious gamma-shielding effect.

Open access
Monte Carlo modelling of Th-Pb fuel assembly with californium neutron source

Abstract

This paper describes the methodology developed for the numerical reconstruction and modelling of the thorium-lead (Th-Pb) assembly available at the Department of Nuclear Energy, Faculty of Energy and Fuels, AGH University, Krakow, Poland. This numerical study is the first step towards integral irradiation experiments in the Th-Pb environment. The continuous-energy Monte Carlo burnup (MCB) code available on supercomputer Prometheus of ACK Cyfronet AGH was applied for numerical modelling. The assembly consists of a hexagonal array of ThO2 fuel rods and metallic Pb rods. The design allows for different arrangements of the rods for various types of irradiations and experimental measurements. The intensity of the fresh neutron source intended for integral experiments is about 108 n/s, which corresponds to the mass of about 43 μg 252Cf. The source was modelled in the form of Cf2O3-Pd cermet wire embedded in two stainless steel capsules.

Open access
Studies on magnetron-sputtered zirconium-silicide coatings deposited on zirconium alloy for the enhancement of their high-temperature oxidation resistance

Abstract

Zirconium alloys used widely in nuclear industry as fuel claddings are prone to violent oxidation in water steam atmosphere in the case of loss of coolant accident (LOCA). Accompanying generation of large quantities of heat and explosive gaseous hydrogen may lead to destruction of nuclear core. As the safety of nuclear installations is of primary importance, intensive research works are conducted on the development of so-called accident tolerant fuels much less prone to oxidation. In this paper, the application of external zirconium-silicide coatings deposited by magnetron sputtering is proposed. The preliminary results of their synthesis and studies of air oxidation properties at elevated temperatures are presented.

Open access
Radon 222Rn in drinking water of West Pomeranian Voivodeship and Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland

Abstract

Radon Rn-222 is a commonly occurring natural radionuclide found in the environment from uranium-radium radioactive series, which is the decay product of radium Ra-226. The presence of radon carries negative health effects. It is, in fact, classified as a carcinogen, and therefore, it is necessary to continuously monitor its concentration. The aim of this study was to determine the level of radon-222 concentration in water intended for human consumption in the two voivodeships of Poland: West Pomeranian and Kuyavian-Pomeranian. Measurements were performed for more than 60 intakes. The level of radon was measured by using the liquid scintillation counting method. The range of measured radon concentration in the water from the West Pomeranian Voivodeship was from 0.90 to 11.41 Bq/dm3 with an average of 5.01 Bq/dm3, while that from the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship was from 1.22 to 24.20 Bq/dm3 with an average of 4.67 Bq/dm3. Only in three water intakes, the concentration of radon-222 exceeded the value of 10 Bq/dm3. The obtained results allowed to conclude that population exposure associated with radon-222 in water is negligible and there is no need to take further action. In the case of three intakes where a higher concentration of radon was found, the potential exposure was low.

Open access
Radon-based technique for the analysis of atmospheric stability – a case study from Central Poland

Abstract

An economical and easy-to-implement technique is outlined by which the mean nocturnal atmospheric mixing state (“stability”) can be assessed over a broad (city-scale) heterogeneous region solely based on near-surface (2 m above ground level [a.g.l.]) observations of the passive tracer radon-222. The results presented here are mainly based on summer data of hourly meteorological and radon observations near Łodź, Central Poland, from 4 years (2008–2011). Behaviour of the near-surface wind speed and vertical temperature gradient (the primary controls of the nocturnal atmospheric mixing state), as well as the urban heat island intensity, are investigated within each of the four radon-based nocturnal stability categories derived for this study (least stable, weakly stable, moderately stable, and stable). On average, the most (least) stable nights were characterized by vertical temperature gradient of 1.1 (0.5)°C·m−1, wind speed of ~0.4 (~1.0) m·s−1, and urban heat island intensity of 4.5 (0.5)°C. For sites more than 20 km inland from the coast, where soils are not completely saturated or frozen, radon-based nocturnal stability classification can significantly enhance and simplify a range of environmental research applications (e.g. urban climate studies, urban pollution studies, regulatory dispersion modelling, and evaluating the performance of regional climate and pollution models).

Open access
Simulation of start-up behaviour of a passive autocatalytic hydrogen recombiner

Abstract

Heterogeneous catalytic recombination of hydrogen with oxygen is one of the methods used to remove hydrogen from the containment of a light-water nuclear reactor (LWR). Inside a passive autocatalytic recombiner (PAR), hydrogen and oxygen molecules are adsorbed at catalyst active spots and they recombine to yield water. Heat released in this exothermic reaction creates natural convection of gas in the spaces between the elements supporting a catalyst. Hot and humid gas flows upwards into the PAR chimney, while fresh, hydrogen-rich gas enters the PAR from below. Catalytic recombination should start spontaneously at room temperature and low hydrogen concentration. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) has been used to study the dynamic behaviour of a plate-type Areva FR-380 recombiner in a quiescent environment for several test scenarios, including different rates of increase in hydrogen concentration and temporary catalyst deactivation. A method for the determination of pressure boundary conditions at the PAR exits was proposed and implemented into a CFD code. In this way, transient operation of PAR could be simulated without the need to model gas circulation outside the device. It was found that first a slow downward flow of gas is developed, which may persist until the temperature of the catalyst foils rises. As soon as the gas inside the PAR absorbs enough heat to become lighter than the gas outside the PAR, it starts to flow upwards. Criteria for determining the start-up time of PAR were proposed. Model predictions were also compared with experimental data obtained in tests conducted at the THAI facility.

Open access
Dependence of tissue inhomogeneity correction factors on photon-beam energy

Abstract

Introduction: Commissioning of the treatment-planning system includes the accuracy of dose calculations in the inhomogeneous absorber. Several results of measurements with regard to inhomogeneity correction factors (CFs) have been published. However, the dependence of CFs on photon-beam energy may preclude such results from being applied to the photon beams of general users. Purpose: The aim of this study was to assess the dependence of CFs on the photon-beam energy. Materials and methods: CFs were calculated by the Batho method for several slab geometries comprised of concentrations of lung tissue and water of 0.25 and 1.00 g/cm3, respectively. The CFs were calculated at 6 MV (TPR20 10 = 0.67 ± k * 0.01) and 15 MV (TPR20 10 = 0.76 ± k * 0.01) where k = -3, -2, -1, 0, 1, 2, 3. All calculations were performed in the region where a charged-particle equilibrium exists. Results: Changes in CFs of less than 2% were observed across the considered energy ranges. With a change in TPR20,10 of 0.01, both at 6 and 15 MV at a depth of 5 cm below the lung; and lung thicknesses of 3, 5 and 8 cm over a fi eld surface area of 10 × 10 cm2, the change in CF never exceeded 2.4%. The dependences of changes in CFs in terms of TPR20,10 were 1.74% and 1.20% for field surface areas of 5 × 5 cm2 and 20 × 20 cm2, respectively. A comparison of 42 linear accelerators (LINACs) exhibiting 6 MV and 15 MV of energy installed in Poland showed that the maximum differences in terms of TPR20,10 at 6 MV and 15 MV were 4.2% and 2.2%, respectively. Conclusion: A linear dependence of CFs on energy was observed. According to observations, the smaller the surface area of the field and deeper the point of interest below the lung, the more dependent CFs are on energy.

Open access
Np-237 incineration study in various beams in ADS setup QUINTA

Abstract

Neptunium-237 samples were irradiated in a spallation neutron field produced in accelerator-driven system (ADS) setup QUINTA. Five experiments were carried out on the accelerators at the JINR in Dubna - one in carbon (C6+), three in deuteron, and one in a proton beam. The energy in carbon was 24 GeV, in deuteron 2, 4 and 8 GeV, respectively, and 660 MeV in the proton beam. The incineration study method was based on gamma-ray spectrometry. During the analysis of the spectra several fission products and one actinide were identified. Fission product activities yielded the number of fissions. The actinide (Np-238), a result of neutron capture by Np-237, yielded the number of captures. The main goal of this work was to find out if and how the incineration rate depended on parameters of the accelerator beam.

Open access
On the role of LET-dependent parameters in the determination of the absorbed dose by in-phantom recombination chambers

Abstract

The paper discusses the theoretical background in terms of the use of in-phantom recombination chambers in mixed radiation fields, with special attention paid to the question of how the experimentally determined, linear-energy-transfer-dependent (LET) parameters can be applied with regard to the more accurate determination of the chamber response and absorbed dose in mixed radiation fields. Methods of taking the recombination index of radiation quality (RIQ) measurements and theoretical consideration concerning the determination of the absorbed dose are described. Classical Bragg-Gray and Spencer-Attix cavity theories were analysed and their relationship to in-phantom recombination chambers was specifi ed. Methods concerning the estimation of correction factors with regard to RIQ measurements and their importance are highlighted.

Open access
Application of gamma radiation and physicochemical treatment to improve the bioactive properties of chitosan extracted from shrimp shell

Abstract

The aim of this study is to exploit a suitable chitosan extraction method from the chitin of indigenous shrimp shells by employing different physicochemical treatments and to improve different bioactive properties of this extracted chitosan (CS) by applying gamma radiation. Chitin was prepared from shrimp shell by pretreatment (deproteination, demineralization and oxidation). Chitosan was extracted from chitin by eight different methods varying different physicochemical parameters (reagent concentration, temperature and time) and assessed with respect to the degree of deacetylation, requirement of time and reagents. The method where chitin was repeatedly treated with 121°C for 30 min with 20 M NaOH, produced the highest degree of deacetylation (DD) value (92%) as measured by potentiometric titration, with the least consumption of time and chemicals, and thus, selected as the best suitable extraction method. For further quality improvement, chitosan with highest DD value was irradiated with different doses (i.e., 5, 10, 15, 20 and 50 kGy) of gamma radiation from cobalt-60 gamma irradiator. As the radiation dose was increased, the molecular weight of the wet irradiated chitosan, as measured by the viscosimetric method, decreased from 1.16 × 105 to 1.786 × 103, 1.518 × 103, 1.134 × 103, 1.046 × 103 and 8.23 × 102 dalton, respectively. The radiation treatment of chitosan samples increased the antimicrobial activity significantly in concentration dependent manner on both gram-positive (Staphylococcus aureus) and gram-negative (Escherichia coli) bacteria, as determined by the well-diffusion method. Four to five percent wet chitosan treated with a radiation dose range of 5.0–10.0 kGy rendered the highest antimicrobial activity with least energy and time consumption. Solubility, water binding capacity (WBC) and fat binding capacity (FBC) also improved due to irradiation of chitosan.

Open access