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Nuclear metrology

Neutron dosimetry

Investigating new neutron sensors to help keep workers in the nuclear sector safe

Neutrons occur in many sectors of society, including cancer treatment and nuclear power. The quantification of these fields is fundamentally important to the protection of:

  • Employees in these sectors
  • Patients
  • The general public
  • The environment

There is no such thing as the perfect neutron dose meter. They all deviate from the ideal energy response, namely ambient or personal dose equivalent. Research is ongoing at NPL to investigate ways of improving dosemeters, for example through the use of novel plastic and crystal scintillators, along with modern digitisation techniques to discriminate between neutron and gamma interactions.

We offer expert advice and opinion to international groups, such as the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) and the International Commission on Radiation Units and Measurements (ICRU) on the evolving dose quantities.

We also have extensive experience using Monte Carlo toolkits to simulate instruments and equipment in neutron fields. This allows us to:

  • quantify small correction factors that would be difficult or impossible to measure experimentally
  • characterise detectors without the need to perform a large number of experimental measurements
  • optimise source and detector designs

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