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  • Author: Branko Vuković x
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Abstract

For years, the town of Slavonski Brod in Croatia has been facing serious problems with air pollution, which is usually attributed to an oil refinery across the Sava River in Bosnia and Herzegovina. While the air quality is being monitored rigorously with regard to nonradioactive matter, no attention has been paid to the possibility of a coincidental radioactive pollution. This study is the first to have addressed this issue. We measured ambient dose rate equivalents at 150 sites and found that none exceeded 120 nSv h-1, while the average was 80 nSv h-1. Gamma-ray spectrometry of the collected river water and soil samples did not reveal any unusual radioactivity either. In other words, we have found no evidence of radioactive pollution that would endanger the health of the residents of Slavonski Brod.

A neutron track etch detector for electron linear accelerators in radiotherapy

Background. Electron linear accelerators in medical radiotherapy have replaced cobalt and caesium sources of radiation. However, medical accelerators with photon energies over 10 MeV generate undesired fast neutron contamination in a therapeutic X-ray photon beam. Photons with energies above 10 MeV can interact with the atomic nucleus of a high-Z material, of which the target and the head of an accelerator consist, and lead to the neutron ejection.

Results and conclusions. Our neutron dosimeter, composed of the LR-115 track etch detector and boron foil BN-1 converter, was calibrated on thermal neutrons generated in the nuclear reactor of the Josef Stefan Institute (Slovenia), and applied to dosimetry of undesirable neutrons in photon radiotherapy by the linear accelerator 15 MV Siemens Mevatron. Having considered a high dependence of a cross-section between neutron and boron on neutron energy, and broad neutron spectrum in a photon beam, as well as outside the entrance door to maze of the Mevatron, we developed a method for determining the effective neutron detector response. A neutron dose rate in the photon beam was measured to be 1.96 Sv/h. Outside the Mevatron room the neutron dose rate was 0.62 μSv/h. PACS: 87.52. Ga; 87.53.St; 29.40.Wk.