Epithermal Beam Development at the BMRR: Dosimetric Evaluation

  • S. K. Saraf
  • J. Kalef-Ezra
  • R. G. Fairchild
  • B. H. Laster
  • S. Fiarman
  • E. Ramsey
Part of the Basic Life Sciences book series (BLSC, volume 54)


The utilization of an epithermal-neutron beam for neutron capture therapy (NCT) is desirable because of the increased tissue penetration relative to a thermal-neutron beam. Over the past few years, modifications have been and continue to be made at the Brookhaven Medical Research Reactor (BMRR) to produce an optimal epithermal beam by changing filter components. An optimal incident epithermal beam should contain the minimum possible fast-neutron component and no thermal neutrons. Recently, a new moderator for the epithenmal beam was installed at the epithermal port of the BMRR. With the installation of this moderator, an optimal beam has been realized [1]. This new moderator is a combination of alumina (Al2O3) bricks and aluminum (Al) plates. A 0.51-mm thick cadmium (Cd) sheet has reduced the thermal-neutron intensity drastically. Furthermore, an 11.5-cm thick bismuth (Bi) plate installed at the port surface has reduced the gamma-dose component to negligible levels. In order to compare various filter configurations for best optimization [2], the following parameters have been measured on the beam axis, directly in front of the epithermal port:
  1. 1)

    Thermal-neutron fluence rate free in air

  2. 2)

    Epithermal-neutron fluence rate free in air

  3. 3)

    Fast-neutron fluence rate free in air

  4. 4)

    Thermal-neutron fluence rate in a polyethylene cylindrical head phantom as a function of distance along the axis of the phantom

  5. 5)

    Fast-neutron dose rate in soft tissue, free in air, and

  6. 6)

    Gamma-dose rate in soft tissue, free in air.



Fluence Rate Glow Curve Relative Biological Effectiveness Absorb Dose Rate Gold Foil 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    R. G. Fairchild, J. Kalef-Ezra, S. K. Saraf, S. Fiarman, E. Ramsey, L. Wielopolski, B. H. Laster, and F. J. Wheeler, “Installation and Testing of an Optimized Epithermal Neutron Beam at the Brookhaven Medical Research Reactor (BMRR).” (These Proceedings.)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    R. G. Fairchild, J. A. Kalef-Ezra, S. Fiarman, L. Wielopolski, J. Hanz, S. Mussolino, and F. Wheeler, “Optimization of an Epithermal Neutron Beam for NCT at the Brookhaven Medical Research Reactor (BMRR),” Strahlenther. Onkol., 165(2/3):84 (1989).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    R. G. Fairchild, “Development and Dosimetry of an ‘Epithermal’ Neutron Beam for Possible Use in Neutron Capture Therapy, ” Phys. Med. Biol., 10 (4): 491 (1965).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    S. Pearlstein and E. V. Weinstock, “Scattering and Self-Shielding Corrections in Cadmium-Filtered Gold, Indium, and 1/v Foil Activation Measurements,” Nucl. Sci. Eng., 29(1):28 (1967).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    D. J. Hughes, in Pile Neutron Research, Addison-Wesley, Cambridge, MA (1953).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    H. H. Rossi and G. Failla, “Tissue-Equivalent Ionization Chambers, ” Nucleonics, 14 (2): 32 (1956).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Neutron Dosimetry for Biology and Medicine,“ International Commission on Radiation Units and Measurements, Bethesda, MD, ICRU Report 26 (1977).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Average Energy Required to Produce an Ion Pair,“ International Commission on Radiation Units and Measurements, Bethesda, MD, ICRU Report 31(1979).Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Stopping Powers for Electrons and Positrons,“ International Commission on Radiation Units and Measurements, Bethesda, MD, ICRU Report 37 (1984).Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    J. H. Hubell, “Photon Mass Attenuation and Energy-Absorption Coefficients from 1 keV to 20 MeV,” Int. J. Appl. Radiat. Isot., 33:1269 (1982).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    J. J. Broerse and J. Zoetelief, Advances in Dosimetry for Fast Neutrons and Heavy Charged Particles for TheranyApplications. IAEA (1984).Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    D. Gabel, R. G. Fairchild, H. G. Borner, and B. Larsson, Radiat. Res., 98:307 (1984).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. K. Saraf
    • 1
  • J. Kalef-Ezra
    • 2
  • R. G. Fairchild
    • 1
  • B. H. Laster
    • 1
  • S. Fiarman
    • 1
  • E. Ramsey
    • 3
  1. 1.Medical DepartmentBrookhaven National LaboratoryUptonUSA
  2. 2.University of IoanninaIoanninaGreece
  3. 3.Health Sciences CenterState University of New YorkStony BrookUSA

Personalised recommendations