[ RadSafe ] Neutron Source Safety

JPreisig at aol.com JPreisig at aol.com
Fri Mar 22 12:46:40 CDT 2013

Dear Lynn B. Dobbs,
     The first thing you need to do is get a copy of  Cember's Health 
Physics book and read the relevant
sections.  Also refer to the Radiation Health Handbook, the old  version, 
the Schlein version or whatever
is relevant now.  See also Accelerator Health Physics by Patterson and  
Thomas, Kaplan's Nuclear Physics, Segre's Nuclear Physics book etc.  I  think 
NCRP-51 will also help, and the updated version of NCRP-51.
     This isn't a big neutron source.  If you have  other neutron sources 
at the University, you may see they are kept in a bucket  of solid parafin, 
with a hole drilled down the middle.  You put the neutron  source in the hole 
in the middle and then there should be a parafin  (cylindrical) cap you put 
over the source in the hole.  You can then store  the neutron source with 
your other radiation sources, which are hopefully locked  away somewhere.  If 
you don't have one of these parafin buckets around,  someone in your 
machine shop should be able to make one fairly easily.   Don't know if they are 
available for sale somewhere.
     Neutron activation should not be a problem.   If you don't already 
have one, then the university needs to buy you some sort of  neutron detector, 
an Anderson-Braun detector (a Snoopy???), a remball or  whatever you can 
afford.  Ludlum makes some neutron detectors.   Google   neutron and detector  
on the internet.
The lab/persons using the neutron detector will need a neutron personnel  
dosimeter --- see Mirion's website, or Landauer or whoever.  The lab doing  
the neutron work might need a neutron detector also.
See Knoll's book on instrumentation to learn about detectors.  That  should 
pretty much cover it, pretty much.
     What are they doing with that neutron  source???

Joe Preisig
In a message dated 3/22/2013 1:22:15 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,  
DOBBSL at mailbox.sc.edu writes:

A  researcher at our University is currently wanting to purchase either a 
Cf-252  (27 uci/ 50 ngm) or an AmBe source (100 mCi) for a neutron flux of ~  
1E5.   I am in the process of developing safety procedures but  honestly, I 
don't have a lot of expertise in neutrons.   My concerns  are exposure 
(neutron and gamma dose), general radiation protection  requirements, detection 
instrumentation, and the possibility of neutron  activation.  Can anyone 
provide some SOPs they are currently using and a  training course available for 
neutron source safety?
Thanks in  advance,

Lynn B Dobbs
Radiation Safety Officer
University of  South Carolina
Phone: 803-777-5268
Fax:  803-777-5275
DobbsL at mailbox.sc.edu<mailto:DobbsL at mailbox.sc.edu>

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