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Biggs Peter J.
Health Physics: October 1991
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Shielding calculations for door thicknesses for megavoltage radiotherapy facilities with mazes are generally straightforward. To simplify the calculations, the standard formalism adopts several approximations relating to the average beam path, scattering coefficients, and the mean energy of the spectrum of scattered radiation. To test the accuracy of these calculations, the Monte Carlo program, ITS, was applied to this problem by determining the dose and energy spectrum of the radiation at the door for 4- and 10-MV bremsstrahlung beams incident on a phantom at isocenter. This was performed for mazes, one termed “standard” and the other a shorter maze where the primary beam is incident on the wall adjacent to the door. The peak of the photon-energy spectrum at the door was found to be the same for both types of maze, independent of primary beam energy, and also, in the case of the conventional maze, of the primary beam orientation. The spectrum was harder for the short maze and for i0 MV vs. 4 MV. The thickness of the lead door for a short maze configuration was 1.5 cm for 10 MV and 1.2 cm for 4 MV vs. approximately <1 mm for a conventional maze. For the conventional maze, the Monte Carlo calculation predicts the dose at the door to be lower than given by NCRP 49 and NCRP 51 by about a factor of 2 at 4 MV but to be the same at 10 MV. For the short maze, the Monte Carlo predicts the dose to be a factor of 3 lower for 4 MV and about a factor of 1.5 lower for 10 MV. Experimental results support the Monte Carlo findings for the short maze.

©1991Health Physics Society