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Study on Concrete Activation Reduction in a PET Cyclotron Vault

방사선방어학회지 2020년 45권 3호 p.130 ~ 141
Bakhtiari Mahdi, Oranj Leila Mokhtari, 정남석, 이아림, 이희석,
소속 상세정보
 ( Bakhtiari Mahdi ) - Pohang University of Science and Technology Division of Advanced Nuclear Engineering
 ( Oranj Leila Mokhtari ) - Pohang University of Science and Technology Pohang Accelerator Laboratory
정남석 ( Jung Nam-Suk ) - Pohang University of Science and Technology Pohang Accelerator Laboratory
이아림 ( Lee A-Rim ) - Pohang University of Science and Technology Pohang Accelerator Laboratory
이희석 ( Lee Hee-Seock ) - Pohang University of Science and Technology Pohang Accelerator Laboratory

Abstract


Background: Concrete activation in cyclotron vaults is a major concern associated with their decommissioning because a considerable amount of activated concrete is generated by secondary neutrons during the operation of cyclotrons. Reducing the amount of activated concrete is important because of the high cost associated with radioactive waste management. This study aims to investigate the capability of the neutron absorbing materials to reduce concrete activation.

Materials and Methods: The Particle and Heavy Ion Transport code System (PHITS) code was used to simulate a cyclotron target and room. The dimensions of the room were 457 cm (length), 470 cm (width), and 320 cm (height). Gd2O3, B4C, polyethylene (PE), and borated (5 wt% natB) PE with thicknesses of 5, 10, and 15 cm and their different combinations were selected as neutron absorbing materials. They were placed on the concrete walls to determine their effects on thermal neutrons. Thin B4C and Gd2O3 were placed between the concrete wall and additional PE shield separately to decrease the required thickness of the additional shield, and the thermal neutron flux at certain depths inside the concrete was calculated for each condition. Subsequently, the optimum combination was determined with respect to radioactive waste reduction, price, and availability, and the total reduced radioactive concrete waste was estimated.
Results and Discussion: In the specific conditions considered in this study, the front wall with respect to the proton beam contained radioactive waste with a depth of up to 64 cm without any additional shield. A single layer of additional shield was inefficient because a thick shield was required. Two-layer combinations comprising 0.1- or 0.4-cm-thick B4C or Gd2O3 behind 10 cm-thick PE were studied to verify whether the appropriate thickness of the additional shield could be maintained. The number of transmitted thermal neutrons reduced to 30% in case of 0.1 cm-thick Gd2O3+10 cm-thick PE or 0.1 cm-thick B4C+10 cm-thick PE. Thus, the thickness of the radioactive waste in the front wall was reduced from 64 to 48 cm.

Conclusion: Based on price and availability, the combination of the 10 cm-thick PE+0.1 cmthick B4C was reasonable and could effectively reduce the number of thermal neutrons. The amount of radioactive concrete waste was reduced by factor of two when considering whole concrete walls of the PET cyclotron vault.

키워드

Concrete Activation Reduction; PHITS Code; PE; B4C; Gd2O3; PETtrace Cyclotron

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