Improvement of Photon Buildup Factors for Radiological Assessment

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Title: Improvement of Photon Buildup Factors for Radiological Assessment
Author: Schirmers, Fritz Gordon
Advisors: Dr. Man-Sung Yim, Committee Chair
Dr. David McNelis, Committee Member
Dr. H. Omar Wooten, Committee Member
Dr. Donald Dudziak, Committee Member
Dr. Peter Bloomfield, Committee Member
Abstract: Slant-path buildup factors for photons between 1 keV and 10 MeV for nine radiation shielding materials (air, aluminum, concrete, iron, lead, leaded glass, polyethylene, stainless steel, and water) are calculated with the most recent cross-section data available using Monte Carlo and discrete ordinates methods. Discrete ordinates calculations use a 244-group energy structure that is based on previous research at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), but extended with the results of this thesis, and its focused studies on low-energy photon transport and the effects of group widths in multigroup calculations. Buildup factor calculations in discrete ordinates benefit from coupled photon/electron cross sections to account for secondary photon effects. Also, ambient dose equivalent (herein referred to as dose) buildup factors were analyzed at lower energies where corresponding response functions do not exist in literature. The results of these studies are directly applicable to radiation safety at LANL, where the dose modeling tool Pandemonium is used to estimate worker dose in plutonium handling facilities. Buildup factors determined in this thesis will be used to enhance the code's modeling capabilities, but should be of interest to the radiation shielding community.
Date: 2006-04-27
Degree: MS
Discipline: Nuclear Engineering

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