The Use of Photographic Film to Pinpoint Accelerator Beam Losses : Health Physics

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The Use of Photographic Film to Pinpoint Accelerator Beam Losses

Marceau-Day, Marie Lorraine*; Teague, Richard E.; Wang, Wei-Hsung

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Health Physics 101(2):p S121-S123, August 2011. | DOI: 10.1097/HP.0b013e31820beebd


Following removal of a superconducting wiggler that has a maximum magnetic-field of 7 T in a high-energy synchrotron facility, sufficient lead shielding was placed upstream of the removal point in the normal-conducting electron storage ring to account for any radiation sources from the upstream components. As is customary in such cases, when vacuum has been breached, there is a period of time required for vacuum re-conditioning of the ring. During this re-conditioning phase, poor vacuum contributes to gas bremsstrahlung formation that typically is visualized as an increase in overall radiation exposure from standard operating conditions. However, in this case, new radiation patterns emerged and persisted throughout the re-commissioning phase. Subsequently, additional shielding was then placed upstream but still failed to resolve the source of radiation. The radiation source point consisted of two distinct components: a point parallel to the position originally covered by the wiggler and a strong forward-directed peak (i.e., bremsstrahlung). The only feedback mechanism to track the beam position is the beam position monitors (BPM's). BPM's were located forward and aft of the parallel source point. The BPM's suggested that the beam was in the correct position. To investigate the elevated radiation level, commercial photographic film was used as a monitoring ruler and the focal point of the radiation source was clearly identified using this novel approach. The silver halide grain contained within the film emulsion possessed sufficient cross section and was activated from 107Ag to 108Ag, which has a half-life of 2.39 min and emits easily detectable radiation. Further, the exposed film is ready for reuse after 25 min due to the short half-life of 108Ag. The proposed method proved to be an easy, economic, and effective approach to rapidly and qualitatively identify the location of the beam losses.

©2011Health Physics Society

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