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Thermal Neutron Characterization and Dose Modeling of a 239PuBe Alpha-Neutron Source

Willey, Adam H.1,2; DeVol, Timothy A.1,2; Martinez, Nicole E.1,2

doi: 10.1097/HP.0000000000001110

Determination of neutron dose can be challenging and requires knowledge of neutron flux as a function of energy. The goal of this project was to characterize the thermal neutron flux of a 37 GBq 239PuBe alpha-neutron source and model the associated neutron dose using version MCNPX of the Monte-Carlo N-Particle transport codes. The 239PuBe source was placed in a neutron howitzer, and foil activation (dysprosium foils with and without cadmium covers) was used at various distances to determine thermal neutron flux, which was then used to verify the MCNPX model representing the system. The model was then adapted for dosimetric modeling to enable future neutron dose-response studies.

1Department of Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29631

2Center for Nuclear Environmental Engineering Sciences and Radioactive Waste Management (NEESRWM), Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29631.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Adam Willey is a recent graduate of Clemson University (CU), where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Engineering as well as a Master of Science degree in Environmental Health Physics. While at CU, Adam was a member of the student branch of the Health Physics Society (HPS) where he also held the position of treasurer. He was the 2018 recipient of the Roscoe Hall Memorial Scholarship, awarded by the Savannah River Chapter of the HPS, for his research in neutron dose modeling. Adam has recently accepted a position as an Environmental Remediation Support Engineer at the Savannah River Site in Aiken, South Carolina where he looks forward to the opportunities ahead. His email is Nicole Martinez is the co-correpsonding author. Her email is

Online date: September 10, 2019

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