Upgrades of the Epithermal Neutron Beam at the Brookhaven Medical Research Reactor
The first epithermal neutron beam at the Brookhaven Medical Research Reactor (BMRR) was installed in 1988 and produced a neutron beam that was satisfactory for the development of NCT with epithermal neutrons. This beam was used routinely until 1992 when the beam was upgraded by rearranging fuel elements in the reactor core to achieve a 50% increase in usable flux. Next, after computer modeling studies, it was proposed that the Al and Al2O3 moderator material in the shutter that produced the epithermal neutrons could be rearranged to enhance the beam further. However, this modification was not started because a better option appeared, namely to use fission plates to move the source of fission neutrons closer to the moderator and the patient irradiation position to achieve more efficient moderation and production of epithermal neutrons. A fission plate converter (FPC) source has been designed recently and, to test the concept, implementation of this upgrade has started. The predicted beam parameters will be 12 × 109 nepi/cm2sec accompanying with doses from fast neutrons and gamma rays per epithermal neutron of 2.8 × 10−11 and < 1 × 10 cGycm2/n, respectively, and a current-to-flux ratio of epithermal neutrons of 0.78. This conversion could be completed by late 1996.
KeywordsFuel Element Neutron Beam Boron Neutron Capture Therapy Reactor Core Epithermal Neutron
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