Neutron shielding calculations in a proton therapy facility based on Monte Carlo simulations and analytical models: Criterion for selecting the method of choice

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Proton therapy facilities are shielded to limit the amount of secondary radiation to which patients, occupational workers and members of the general public are exposed. The most commonly applied shielding design methods for proton therapy facilities comprise semi-empirical and analytical methods to estimate the neutron dose equivalent. This study compares the results of these methods with a detailed simulation of a proton therapy facility by using the Monte Carlo technique. A comparison of neutron dose equivalent values predicted by the various methods reveals the superior accuracy of the Monte Carlo predictions in locations where the calculations converge. However, the reliability of the overall shielding design increases if simulation results, for which solutions have not converged, e.g. owing to too few particle histories, can be excluded, and deterministic models are being used at these locations. Criteria to accept or reject Monte Carlo calculations in such complex structures are not well understood. An optimum rejection criterion would allow all converging solutions of Monte Carlo simulation to be taken into account, and reject all solutions with uncertainties larger than the design safety margins. In this study, the optimum rejection criterion of 10% was found. The mean ratio was 26, 62% of all receptor locations showed a ratio between 0.9 and 10, and 92% were between 1 and 100. © The Author 2005. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

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Radiation Protection Dosimetry

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