Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Measurement and model prediction of proton -recoil track length distributions in NTA film dosimeters for neutron energy spectroscopy and retrospective dose assessment
by Taulbee, Timothy D., Ph.D., University of Cincinnati, 2009, 279; 3351994
Abstract (Summary)

The goal of this research was to determine whether neutron dose reconstruction could be improved through re-analysis of historic NTA films worn by workers in the 1950 through the 1970s. To improve neutron dose reconstruction, the underlying neutron energy spectra is critical in determining the organ dose due to energy dependence of the dose conversion factor as well as the application of radiation weighting factors used in epidemiology and probability of causation calculations.

Monte Carlo models of proton-recoil track length distributions were developed and benchmarked against measurement data for both NTA and Ilford films. These models, when applied to several NTA film dosimeter configurations, demonstrated that proton-recoil track length distributions change based upon incident neutron energy. The neutron energy spectra changes that result from the general work environment such as source term and shielding can subsequently be modeled to predict the response of the NTA film dosimeter.

An Automatic NTA Film Analyzer has been designed and developed to determine if the difference in proton-recoil track length distributions predicted by the Monte Carlo models could be measured and whether these differences could be correlated to the incident neutron energy spectra. The design required the development of a 2D-3D hybrid track recognition algorithm for a three dimensional analysis of the NTA film in order to accurately determine the proton-recoil track length for subsequent neutron energy determination. NTA films exposed to a plutonium fluoride (PuF4) and polonium boron (PoB) calibration sources were measured and compared. The proton-recoil track lengths were used to reconstruct the incident neutron energy spectra demonstrating the functionality of the analyzer and that reconstruction of the neutron energy spectra from NTA films is feasible. These measurements were compared to the Monte Carlo models and confirmed the applicability of using models to determine the NTA film response.

Based on the Monte Carlo Modeling and the Automatic NTA Film Analyzer, the neutron energy spectra to which an individual worker was exposed can be retrospectively determined through re-analysis of historic NTA dosimeter films thus improving retrospective neutron dose assessments.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Spitz, Henry B.
School: University of Cincinnati
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-B 70/03, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Nuclear engineering
Keywords: Dose assessment, Film dosimeters, Neutron energy spectroscopy, Proton-recoil track length
Publication Number: 3351994
ISBN: 9781109089905
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