Characterization of a 137Cs irradiator from a new perspective with modern dosimetric tools.
To provide for accurate dosimetry in a 137Cs irradiator, the following were investigated: (1) correct mapping of the irradiator cavity's dose distribution, (2) rotated versus stationary dose rate measurements, (3) exposure-to-dose calibration selection for exposure time calculation, and (4) irradiator-timer error correction. This work introduces techniques to map dose distributions and measure dose rates with new high-sensitivity radiochromic films and a small-volume ion chamber constructed for in-beam, high-intensity gamma irradiation. Measured film distributions were compared to manufacturer-provided data and independent measurements from an ion chamber and TLD-100 chips. Measured film distributions agreed with the manufacturer-provided data in the central-vertical region, but disagreed by as much as 95% in surrounding regions. The independent measurements agreed within 96% with the measured dose distribution. Dose rates varied by approximately 11% for a rotational versus stationary setup, by approximately 10% for the dose-to-medium correction between air and soft tissue, and by approximately 4-12% for irradiation times from 0.2-0.7 min due to timer error. In conclusion, a critical irradiator characterization should be performed, initially, as a part of the acceptance testing of a newly installed irradiator, and periodically as an ongoing quality assurance protocol. We investigated, and recommend as part of a comprehensive irradiator verification protocol, the inclusion of radiochromic film-measured dose distributions, dose rates measured during rotation when samples are likewise rotated for exposure, timer error corrections for short-time irradiation, and exposure-to-dose corrections that reflect typical sample compositions, e.g., soft tissue or air.
Brady, SL; Toncheva, G; Dewhirst, MW; Yoshizumi, TT
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