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Corpuscular physics and outer space >> Particle physics
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Assessment of the activation induced in accelerators used for radionuclides production for medical applications, allowing the optimization of their dismantling

Département Métrologie Instrumentation et Information (LIST)

Laboratoire de Métrologie de la Dose



The radioactivity induced by activation in facilities using particle accelerators for medical applications leads to the creation of radioactive waste. The precise characterization of activated parts is essential for the dismantling operations of these facilities in order to identify the correct storage and recycling methods of the generated radioactive wastes. In France, the LNHB, as part of the CEA and as designated metrology laboratory by the LNE, for the ionising radiation, has recently started being involved in the estimation of the activation induced in accelerators used for radionuclides production for medical applications, mainly cyclotrons, in order to optimize their dismantling. Taking into account the increasing number of active facilities reaching the end of their life, the safety authorities and bodies in charge of waste management are closely interested in aspects related to the characterization of the generated wastes. This task must be performed with the best possible precision in terms of level of activation and identification of radioisotopes created by activation. The final goal is to identify appropriate actions for the management of these wastes. The subject of this study aims to meet this demand. The main steps planned within the framework of this project are : (1) modelling through Monte Carlo methods the geometry of a particle accelerator used for the production of medical radioisotopes ; (2) characterization of the neutron field produced during operation of this facility ; (3) characterization of radioactivity induced by the accelerated particles of primary beams and secondary neutrons in various materials, composing the activated parts of the accelerator ; (4) use of the results of the previous two steps for an accurate determination of the full radiological spectrum (i.e. the list of the main radioisotopes contributing to induced radioactivity) of each part of the accelerator.

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