Title: Feasibility Study into the Use of an Aluminum Ionization Chamber as a Gamma Dosimeter in a Mixed Neutron and Gamma-ray Field
Authors: ROCA AntoanetaLIU Yuan-HaoMOSS RaymondSTECHER-RASMUSSEN FinnNIEVAART Victor Alexander
Citation: NUCLEAR TECHNOLOGY vol. 168 no. 1 p. 196-201
Publication Year: 2009
JRC N°: JRC48343
ISSN: 0029-5450
URI: http://www.new.ans.org/pubs/journals/nt/
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Generally, the determination of the gamma-ray dose in a mixed neutron-gamma field is obtained by using ¿neutron-insensitive¿ detectors. For this purpose, graphite, magnesium and aluminum ionization chambers are available. It is known that graphite chambers suffer from porosity and magnesium chambers encounter oxidation and manufacturing problems. So far, the aluminum chamber is mostly applied in fast neutron fields. This study presents the results of an aluminum chamber, flushed with argon gas, when applied in a mixed neutron and gamma field. A computer model of the ionization chamber is developed for an accurate interpretation of the responses. Special interest is given to the charge that can be measured after the irradiation has stopped, which is due to decay of 28Al. Methods and Materials: The Monte Carlo code MCNPX is used to simulate the neutrons, gammas and charged particles in and around the Al-Ar chamber. The detector is modeled in detail and all possible reactions which can occur in the materials of the chamber are incorporated. The response of the Al-Ar chamber is compared with the results of a Mg-Ar one in terms of collected charge. Results: All individual components contributing to the signal of the detector are identified and calculated. Although the decay-charge produced by aluminum is much higher, in comparison to magnesium, a better estimation of the gamma dose is expected when the decay-charge in aluminum can be accurately determined. Another advantage is that the higher activation in Al can be used for identifying the neutron contribution. Despite the great detail in the model used, there is a ~25% discrepancy between the experimental and simulated total charges for both the Mg-Ar and Al-Ar chambers, which requires evidently further investigation. Conclusions: The Al-Ar chamber can be used complementary to the Mg-Ar chamber as gamma dosimeter in a mixed field of neutrons and gammas.
JRC Directorate:Energy, Transport and Climate

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