Secondary neutrons inside a proton therapy facility: MCNPX simulations compared to measurements performed with a Bonner Sphere Spectrometer and neutron H*(10) monitors

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Institutes & Expert groups

  • HE2B - ISIB - Institut Superieur industriel de Bruxelles
  • Université Joseph Fourier (Grenoble-I)
  • CERN - Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire
  • Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
  • IBA - Ion Beam Applications - Belgium
  • VUB - Vrije Universiteit Brussel

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Neutron spectrometry measurements with an extended-range Bonner Sphere Spectrometer (BSS), as well as neutron H*(10) measurements using an extended-range rem meter WENDI-2, a conventional rem meter LB 6411 and a tissue-equivalent proportional counter, were performed inside and around the Fixed-Beam Treatment Room at the proton therapy facility of Essen, in Germany. The WENDI-2 stood out as the easiest detector for making accurate neutron H*(10) measurements, since its direct measurements were equivalent to the H*(10) rates obtained with the BSS. The measurements were also compared to simulation results obtained with MCNPX 2.7.0 using two different selections of physics models for the hadron interactions above 150 MeV: the Bertini & Dresner models and the CEM03 model. For neutron H*(10) rates outside the treatment room, factors of 1.6e1.8 were obtained between the results of the two simulations, the Bertini & Dresner models yielding the largest values in all positions. The comparison of the simulation results with the WENDI-2 and BSS measurements for positions inside the treatment room showed that the Bertini & Dresner models reproduce the global neutron production in the water phantom relatively well, whereas the CEM03 model underestimates it by a factor of ~1.3. At the most forward angle, however, the Bertini model (unlike the CEM03 model) seemed to overestimate the production of neutrons with energies above 100 MeV. Outside the shielding, the simulated H*(10) overestimated the WENDI-2 measurements by factors of 2e3 with the Bertini & Dresner models, and 1.1 e1.7 with the CEM03 model. Both simulations were thus conservative with respect to the neutron fluxes transmitted through the concrete walls. This conservative behaviour is probably caused by a combination


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-40
Number of pages15
JournalRadiation Measurements
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017


  • Proton Therapy, Neutron H*(10), MCNPX, Rem Counters, Bonner Sphere Spectrometer, TEPC

ID: 3019259