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Personnel neutron dosimetry using electrochemically etched CR-39 foils

Description: A personnel neutron dosimetry system has been developed based on the electrochemical etching of CR-39 plastic at elevated temperatures. The doses obtained using this dosimeter system are more accurate than those obtained using other dosimetry systems, especially when varied neutron spectra are encountered. This Cr-39 dosimetry system does not have the severe energy dependence that exists with albedo neutron dosimeters or the fading and reading problems encountered with NTA film. The dosimetry system employs an electrochemical etch procedure that be used to process large numbers of Cr-39 dosimeters. The etch procedure is suitable for operations where the number of personnel requires that many CR-39 dosimeters be processed. Experience shows that one full-time technician can etch and evaluate 2000 foils per month. The energy response to neutrons is fairly flat from about 80 keV to 3.5 MeV, but drops by about a factor of three in the 13 to 16 MeV range. The sensitivity of the dosimetry system is about 7 tracks/cm/sup 2//mrem, with a background equivalent to about 8 mrem for new CR-39 foils. The limit of sensitivity is approximately 10 mrem. The dosimeter has a significant variation in directional dependence, dropping to about 20% at 90/sup 0/. This dosimeter has been used for personnel neutron dosimetry at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for more tha 18 months. 6 refs., 23 figs., 2 tabs.
Date: September 17, 1986
Creator: Hankins, D.E.; Homann, S. & Westermark, J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Personnel neutron dosimetry using hot, low-frequency electrochemical etching

Description: We have developed an electrochemical-etch procedure for the processing of large numbers of CR-39 dosimeters. Specially designed Homann-Type chambers can etch up to 24 CR-39 chips, or foils, at one time. In our two-step procedure, the second step, called blow-up, increases the tracks' size and makes them relatively uniform. The energy response is fairly flat from approx.150 keV to 4.5 MeV, but drops by about a factor of three in the 13 to 16 MeV range. The sensitivity of the dosimetry system is 6 tracks/mrem with a background of 8 mrem, giving a lower limit of sensitivity of approximately 10 mrem for the dosimeter (when three foils are used). Because greater numbers of CR-39 foils can be accommodated at any one time, our procedure is quite efficient for operations with large numbers of dosimeters to be processed. 12 refs., 6 figs., 3 tabs.
Date: September 19, 1985
Creator: Hankins, D.E.; Homann, S.G. & Davis, J.M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Development of a personnel neutron dosimeter/spectrometer

Description: A few inexpensive plastic track etch component, CR-39, polycarbonate, and LR-115 have been added to the albedo dosimeters. This will extend personnel neutron measurement capability, providing information to infer a four energy group spectrum, reduce the expected error in personnel dose assessment, and help clarify the ambiguity that results when personnel must work in more than one neutron facility during the monitoring period. (FS)
Date: January 1, 1980
Creator: Griffith, R.V.; Fisher, J.C.; Tommasino, L. & Zapparoli, G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Neutron dosimetry using electrochemical etching

Description: Registration of ..cap alpha..-tracks and fast-neutron-induced recoils tracks by the electrochemical etching technique as applied to sensitive polymer foils (e.g., polycarbonate) provides a simple, sensitive and inexpensive means of fast neutron personnel dosimetry as well as a valuable research tool for microdosimetry. When tracks were amplified by our electrochemical technique and the etching results compared with conventional etching technique a striking difference was noted. The electrochemically etched tracks were of much larger diameter (approx. 100 ..mu..m) and gave superior contrast. Two optical devices--the transparency projector and microfiche reader--were adapted to facilitate counting of the tracks appearing on our polycarbonate foils. The projector produced a magnification of 14X for a screen to projector distance of 5.0 meter and read's magnification was 50X. A Poisson distribution was determined for the number of tracks located in a particular area of the foil and experimentally verified by random counting of quarter sections of the microfiche reader screen. Finally, in an effort to determine dose equivalent (rem), a conversion factor is being determined by finding the sensitivity response (tracks/neutron) of recoil particle induced tracks as a function of monoenergetic fast neutrons and comparing results with those obtained by others.
Date: January 1, 1977
Creator: Su, S.J.; Stillwagon, G.B. & Morgan, K.Z.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Evaluation of different polymers for fast neutron personnel dosimetry using electrochemical etching

Description: There is considerable optimism for the enhancement by electrochemical etching of fast neutron-induced recoil tracks in polycarbonate for the purpose of personnel dosimetry. The threshold energy, however, is rather high. A desirable improvement would be to lower this energy below 1 MeV. With this objective in mind, we have commenced an investigation of cellulose acetate, triacetate, and acetobutyrate in addition to polycarbonate. These cellulose derivatives are chemically more reactive and physically weaker than polycarbonate. It might, therefore, be possible to initiate the electrochemical amplification at the sites of shorter recoil atom damage tracks than is possible with polycarbonate. Some characteristics important for electrochemically etching in aqueous electrolytes are listed. Chemical etching is combined with treeing, an electrical breakdown process that starts when the dielectric strength is exceeded. These mechanical and electrical properties pertain to the dry plastics. The absorption of water molecules and electrolyte ions will cause these values to be reduced. Results and conclusions of the study are presented.
Date: January 1, 1977
Creator: Gammage, R.B. & Cotter, S.J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Combination TLD/TED dose assessment

Description: During the early 1980s, an appraisal of dosimetry programs at US Department of Energy (DOE) facilities identified a significant weakness in dose assessment in fast neutron environments. Basing neutron dose equivalent on thermoluminescence dosimeters (TLDS) was not entirely satisfactory for environments that had not been well characterized. In most operational situations, the dosimeters overrespond to neutrons, and this overresponse could be further exaggerated with changes in the neutron quality factor (Q). Because TLDs are energy dependent with an excellent response to thermal and low-energy neutrons but a weak response to fast neutrons, calibrating the dosimetry system to account for mixed and moderated neutron energy fields is a difficult and seldom satisfactory exercise. To increase the detection of fast neutrons and help improve the accuracy of dose equivalent determinations, a combination dosimeter was developed using TLDs to detect thermal and low-energy neutrons and a track-etch detector (TED) to detect fast neutrons. By combining the albedo energy response function of the TLDs with the track detector elements, the dosimeter can nearly match the fluence-to-dose equivalent conversion curve. The polymer CR-39 has neutron detection characteristics superior to other materials tested. The CR-39 track detector is beta and gamma insensitive and does not require backscatter (albedo) from the body to detect the exposure. As part of DOE's Personnel Neutron and Upgrade Program, we have been developing a R-39 track detector over the past decade to address detection and measurement of fast neutrons. Using CR-39 TEDs in combination with TLDs will now allow us to detect the wide spectrum of occupational neutron energies and assign dose equivalents much more confidently.
Date: November 1, 1992
Creator: Parkhurst, M.A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department