The neutron field in the proximity of an unshielded PET cyclotron was investigated during 18F radioisotope production with an 18 MeV proton beam.
Thermoluminescent detector (TLD) models TLD600 and TLD700 as well as Bonner moderating spheres were irradiated at different positions inside the vault room where the cyclotron is located to determine the thermal neutron flux, neutron spectrum and dose equivalent. Furthermore, from a combination of measurements and Monte Carlo simulations the neutron source intensity at the target was estimated. The resulting intensity is in good agreement with the IAEA recommendations.
Neutron doses derived from the measured spectra were found to vary between 7 and 320 mSv per 1 microA h of proton-integrated current. Finally, gamma doses were determined from TLD700 readings and amounted to around 10% of the neutron doses.
CITATION Phys Med Biol. 2005 Nov 7;50(21):5141-52