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Analysis of the BEAVRS PWR benchmark using SCALE and PARCS

Abstract

This paper presents an analysis of the Benchmark for Evaluation And Validation of Reactor Simulations (BEAVRS) performed using SCALE 6.1.2 and PARCS 3.2 computer codes. The benchmark specification contains a detailed design, operational data and measurements for a real 4-loop Westinghouse pressurized water reactor (PWR). The lattice physics simulations were prepared using TRITON depletion sequence and NEWT neutron transport solver (SCALE package). The 238-neutron group library based on evaluated nuclear data file – ENDF/B-VII nuclear data libraries was applied. A set of branch and burnup calculations was prepared, and group constants in the form of PMAXS files were generated with GenPMAXS. The full-core models were prepared using the PARCS nodal-diffusion core simulator. The PMAXS libraries were used with PARCS to investigate the core operation. The hot zero power measurement data, including control rod worths and critical boron concentrations, were compared using simulations, and satisfactory results were achieved. The first fuel cycle was simulated, and acceptable agreement with boron letdown curve and measurements were obtained. Finally, conclusions and recommendations for future research were presented.

Open access
Clinical advantages of using unflattened 6-MV and 10-MV photon beams generated by the medical accelerator Elekta Versa HD based on their dosimetric parameters in comparison to conventional beams

Abstract

Photon beams with wide energy ranges from 4 MV to 25 MV are commonly used in radiotherapy nowadays. In recent years, there has been a strong interest in a certain modification of a radiotherapeutic apparatus by the application of the so-called flattening filter-free (FFF) beam. Several advantages of FFF beams over standard flattening filter (FF) beams are noticed, and this technical solution has aroused great interest among radiotherapeutic facilities. The goal of the present study is to investigate the differences between the conventional FF and unflattened FFF 6-MV and 10-MV photon beams in some basic dosimetric parameters and their influence on the whole radiotherapeutic treatment. The data provided here include the detailed characteristics as follows: percent depth dose (PDD), beam profile, edge of a half-profile, total scatter correction factor (TSCF) and head scatter correction factor (HSCF) for FF and FFF 6-MV and 10-MV photon beams from the Elekta Versa HD accelerator in the Katowice Oncology Center in Poland.

Open access
Ecological analysis of heavy metal and radioactivity potential of Holocene sediments in Iznik Lake

Abstract

In this study, the heavy metal and radioactive properties of Iznik Lake were investigated. Concentration values of the first (Ag, Bi, Mo, Sn, Se, Zn, As, B, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, Pt and Sb) and second (Na, Mg, K, Ca, P, S, Fe, Al and Mn) group of elements in borehole 1 (BH-1) drilling did not show much variation from the top to the bottom of the drilling. Concentration values of the first group of elements in borehole 2 (BH-2) drill samples decreased at higher levels of drilling. In addition, natural and anthropogenic radionuclides were measured by gamma spectrometry, and the results of environmental natural radioactivity of Iznik Lake and its surroundings were determined. In the measurement results, Ra-226 was found to be below the world average value at all locations. It is assumed that the determination of K-40 values above the average values was due to agricultural activities carried out intensively in the study area. Th-232 values were found to be below the world average value in drilling samples; Cs-137 values were below the background level in all samples. According to these results, the study area does not contain any unnatural radioactivity.

Open access
A portable fast neutron radiography system for non-destructive analysis of composite materials

Abstract

Depending on the neutron energy used, neutron radiography can be generally categorized as fast and thermal neutron radiography. Fast neutron radiography (FNR) with neutron energy more than 1 MeV opens up a new range of possibilities for a non-destructive examination when the inspected object is thick or dense. Other traditional techniques, such as X-ray, gamma ray and thermal neutron radiography, do not meet penetration capabilities of FNR in this area. Because of these distinctive features, this technique is used in different industrial applications such as security (cargo investigation for contraband such as narcotics, explosives and illicit drugs), gas/liquid flow and mixing and radiography and tomography of encapsulated heavy shielded low Z compound materials. The FNR images are produced directly during exposure as neutrons create recoil protons, which activate a scintillator screen, allowing images to be collected with a computer-controlled charge-coupled device camera. Finally, the picture can be saved on a computer for image processing. The aim of this research was to set up a portable FN R system and to test it for use in non-destructive testing of different composite materials. Experiments were carried out by using a fast portative neutron generator Thermo Scientific MP 320.

Open access
Effects of radiopharmaceuticals on articular cartilage’s mechanical properties

Abstract

As radiation science and technology advances, nuclear medicine applications are increasing worldwide which necessitate the understanding of biological implications of such practices. Ionizing radiation has been shown to cause degraded matrix and reduced proteoglycan synthesis in cartilage, and the late consequences of which may include degenerative arthritis or arthropathy. Although degenerative effects of the ionizing radiation on cartilage tissue have been demonstrated, the effects on the mechanical properties of articular cartilage are largely unknown. The radiopharmaceuticals, technetium-99m and technetium-99m sestamibi, were utilized on bovine articular cartilage to investigate these effects. We used two different mechanical tests to determine the mechanical properties of articular cartilage. Dynamic and static mechanical tests were applied to calculate compressive modulus for articular cartilage. We observed clearly higher control modulus values than that of experimental groups which account for lesser stiffness in the exposed cartilage. In conclusion, compressive moduli of bovine articular cartilage were found to decrease after radiopharmaceutical exposure, after both instantaneous and equilibrium mechanical experiments.

Open access
Radiation induced degradation of Congo red dye: a mechanistic study

Abstract

Synthetic dyes are persistent pollutants with poor biodegradability. The present study is about the degradation of direct Congo red dye in aqueous media using the Co-60 gamma radiation source. The experimental conditions such as gamma-ray absorbed doses, amount of oxidant (H2O2) and pH conditions were evaluated. The λmax of dye solution was noted as 498 nm, and then, decrease in absorbance and reduction in chemical oxygen demand (COD) were examined. The complete colour removal of dye was observed at 5 kGy, while a significant COD removal was observed at 15 kGy gamma-ray absorbed dose in conjunction with oxidant for 50 mg/L concentration. It was found that pH has no influence on degradation efficiency. A possible degradation pathway was proposed. The radiolytic end products were monitored by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) and gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (GC-MS) to explore the degradation mechanism. It was imperative to study the oxidative degradation pathway to provide directions for potential applicability of advanced oxidation process (AOP) in industrial wastewater treatment.

Open access
Simulated nuclear contamination scenario, solid cancer risk assessment, and support to decision

Abstract

The detonation of an (hypothetical) improvised nuclear device (IND) can generate atmospheric release of radioactive material in the form of particles and dust that ultimately contaminate the soil. In this study, the detonation of an IND in an urban area was simulated, and its effects on humans were determined. The risk of solid cancer development due to radiation was calculated by taking into account prompt radiation and whole-body exposure of individuals near the detonation site up to 10 km. The excess relative risk (ERR) of developing solid cancer was evaluated by using the mathematical relationships from the Radiation Effects Research Foundation (RERF) studies and those from the HotSpot code. The methodology consists of using output data obtained from simulations performed with the HotSpot health physics code plugging in such numbers into a specific given equation used by RERF to evaluate the resulting impact. Such a preliminary procedure is expected to facilitate the decision-making process significantly.

Open access
Suitability of rocks and sediments from Brzeszcze and Silesia coal mines as building materials in terms of radiological hazard

Abstract

The isotope activity concentration of rocks and bottom sediments was evaluated based on the samples collected from sedimentation ponds and gangue repositories. Radium 226Ra, thorium 228Th and potassium 40K activities were measured by gamma spectrometry using high-purity germanium detector – HPGe 4020. The radiation effect resulting from the presence of natural radionuclides was estimated by radiological hazard indices such as f 1 and f 2 coefficients, radium equivalent, internal and external hazard indices and absorbed dose rate. Performed measurements and calculations have shown that the bottom sediments are most contaminated. They may pose a serious radiological hazard for present and future generations.

Open access
‘Zero energy’ electron beam technology for sludge hygienization

Abstract

Large quantity of sewage sludge originating from wastewater treatment plants is becoming a growing problem from environmental and human health points of view. One of the ways to use sewage sludge is agricultural purpose due to its nutrients and organic matter content, but the condition is that it should be deprived of pathogenic bacteria and parasite egg contamination. Application of ionizing radiation to hygienize sewage sludge can make it appropriate for agricultural use. The process does not require addition of chemicals to sludge; it is environmentally friendly and effective in removal of biological threats. In the past, successful attempts of sewage sludge treatment using ionizing radiation were made. Pilot plants and commercial ones proved that pathogens can be easily removed from sewage sludge by ionizing radiation. The concept of ‘zero energy’ biogas plant is based on the construction of a complex system consisting of biogas plant and electron accelerator in the biofertilizer manufacturing line. Digestate originating from the methane fermentation of sewage sludge is irradiated to remove all pathogens using electron beam from an accelerator powered by electric energy obtained from burning biogas in a cogenerator. The product is a high-quality, biologically safe fertilizer.

Open access