Monte Carlo simulation of neutron irradiation facility developed for accelerator based in vivo neutron activation measurements in human hand bones
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The neutron irradiation facility developed at the McMaster University 3 MV Van de Graaff accelerator was employed to assess in vivo elemental content of aluminum and manganese in human hands. These measurements were carried out to monitor the long-term exposure of these potentially toxic trace elements through hand bone levels. The dose equivalent delivered to a patient during irradiation procedure is the limiting factor for IVNAA measurements. This article describes a method to estimate the average radiation dose equivalent delivered to the patient's hand during irradiation. The computational method described in this work augments the dose measurements carried out earlier [Arnold et al., 2002. Med. Phys. 29(11), 2718-2724]. This method employs the Monte Carlo simulation of hand irradiation facility using MCNP4B. Based on the estimated dose equivalents received by the patient hand, the proposed irradiation procedure for the IVNAA measurement of manganese in human hands [Arnold et al., 2002. Med. Phys. 29(11), 2718-2724] with normal (1 ppm) and elevated manganese content can be carried out with a reasonably low dose of 31 mSv to the hand. Sixty-three percent of the total dose equivalent is delivered by non-useful fast group (> 10 keV); the filtration of this neutron group from the beam will further decrease the dose equivalent to the patient's hand.
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