Physics Design for the Brookhaven Medical Research Reactor Epithermal Neutron Source

  • F. J. Wheeler
  • D. K. Parsons
  • D. W. Nigg
  • D. E. Wessol
  • L. G. Miller
  • R. G. Fairchild
Part of the Basic Life Sciences book series (BLSC, volume 54)


A collaborative effort by researchers at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory and the Brookhaven National Laboratory has resulted in the design and implementation of an epithermal-neutron source at the Brookhaven Medical Research Reactor (BMRR). Large aluminum containers, filled with aluminum oxide tiles and aluminum spacers, were tailored to pre-existing compartments on the animal side of the reactor facility. A layer of cadmium was used to minimize the thermal-neutron component. Additional bismuth was added to the pre-existing bismuth shield to minimize the gamma component of the beam. Lead was also added to reduce gamma streaming around the bismuth. The physics design methods are outlined in this paper. Information available to date shows close agreement between calculated and measured beam parameters. The neutron spectrum is predominantly in the intermediate energy range (0.5 eV – 10 keV). The peak flux intensity is 6.4E+12 n/(m2·s·MW) at the center of the beam on the outer surface of the final gamma shield. The corresponding neutron current is 3.8E+12 n/(m2·s·MW). Presently, the core operates at a maximum of 3 MW. The fast-neutron KERMA is 3.6E−15 cGy/(n/m2) and the gamma KERMA is 5.0E−16 cGy/(n/m2) for the unperturbed beam. The neutron intensity falls off rapidly with distance from the outer shield and the thermal flux realized in phantom or tissue is strongly dependent on the beam-delimiter and target geometry.


Neutron Beam Boron Neutron Capture Therapy Epithermal Neutron Brookhaven National Laboratory Gamma Dose 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. J. Wheeler
    • 1
  • D. K. Parsons
    • 1
  • D. W. Nigg
    • 1
  • D. E. Wessol
    • 1
  • L. G. Miller
    • 1
  • R. G. Fairchild
    • 2
  1. 1.Idaho National Engineering LaboratoryEG&G Idaho, Inc.Idaho FallsUSA
  2. 2.Medical DepartmentBrookhaven National LaboratoryUpton, Long IslandUSA

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