Izvestiya vuzov. Yadernaya Energetika

The peer-reviewed scientific and technology journal. ISSN: 0204-3327

Ensuring safe operation of university neutron generators

9/16/2020 2020 - #03 Application of nuclear tech

Yurkov D.I. Mikerov V.I. Ryabeva E.V. Idalov V.A. Ibragimov R.F. Urupa I.V.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.26583/npe.2020.3.16

UDC: 539.1 378.165.15

A package of organizational and engineering arrangements has been considered to ensure safe operation of portable neutron generators in a university environment. The dose rate from the fast neutron generator’s neutron radiation in rooms permanently or temporarily occupied by personnel or the public was mathematically simulated using the GEANT4 code. Dedicated biological shielding has been developed and built, and measures have been put in place for the radiation dose monitoring using state-of-the-art health physics equipment and for remote control of the fast neutron generator’s neutron yield, as well as to limit the neutron yield and the neutron generator operating time, to prevent access into rooms with operating generators, and to monitor the radiation dose values using special-purpose devices (dosimeters, radiometers, etc.).

It has been shown that the biological shielding built and the fast neutron generator’s yield of up to 5⋅106 n/s provide for the equivalent dose rate in permanently occupied rooms not exceeding 0.3 μ Sv/h, which is an order of magnitude as low as the university dose rate limit of 3 μSv/h.


  1. Laboratory of General and Special Practices SINP MSU n.a. M.V. Lomonosov. Available at: http://prac-gw.sinp.msu.ru/lsp.htm (accessed Jul 10, 2020) (in Russian).
  2. Nesterov V.N., Daneykin Yu.V., Bedenko S.V. Laboratory Workshop on Nuclear Physics. Tomsk Polytechnic University. Available at: http://portal.tpu.ru:7777/departments/otdel/publish/izdaniya_razrabotanye_v_ramkah_IOP/Tab1/lab_pr_po_yad_fiz_zac.pdf (accessed Jul 10, 2020) (in Russian).
  3. MIT website. Available at: cstar.mit.edu/vault.php (accessed Jul 10, 2020).
  4. Stanford University, Office of Technology Licensing Available at: http://techfinder.stanford.edu/technologies/S15-084_piezoelectric-neutron-generator (accessed Jul 10, 2020).
  5. Voyles A.S., Basunia M.S., Batchhelder J.C., Bauer J.D., Becker T.A. et al. Measurement of the Zn-64, Ti-47(n,p) cross sections using a DD neutron generator for medical isotope studies. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B 410, 2017, pp. 230-239.
  6. Pyeon Cheol Ho, Yamanaka M., Kim Song-Hyun, Vu Thanh-Mai et al. Benchmarks of subcriticality in accelerator-driven system at Kyoto University Critical Assembly. Nuclear Engineering and Technology. 2017, v. 49, pp. 1234-1239.
  7. Montgomery M.T., Yoho M.D., Biegalski S.R., Landsberger S., Welch L. A 14 MeV neutron irradiation facility with an automated fast cyclic pneumatic. J Radioanal Nucl Chem. 2016, v. 309, pp. 101-106.
  8. Kicka L., Machrafi R., Miller A. Study of neutron fields around an intense neutron generator. Applied Radiation and Isotopes. 2017, v. 130, pp. 276-279.
  9. Williams J., Chester A., Domingo T., Rizwan U., Starosta K., Voss P. Neutron generator facility at SFU: GEANT4 dose rate predictions and verification. Radiation Protection Dosimetry. 2016, v. 171, no. 3, pp. 313-325.
  10. Srinivasan P., Priya S., Patel T., Gopalakrishnan R.K., Sharma D.N. Assessment of radiation shield integrity of DD/DT fusion neutron generator facilities by Monte Carlo and experimental methods. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B 342. 2015, pp. 125-132.
  11. Li Xiang-Iong, Cheng Dao-wen, Liu Lin-mao. Neutron radiation dose calculations from composite neutron shield of the on-line coal analyzer. J Radioanal Nucl Chem. 2016, 308, pp. 425-430.
  12. Metwally Walid A., Taquatqa Osama A., Ballaith Mohammed M., Chen Allan X., Piestrup Melvin A. Neutron and photon dose mapping of a DD neutron generator. Radiation Protection Dosimetry. 2017, v. 176, no. 3, pp. 258-263.
  13. Sharma Manish K., Alajo Ayodeji B., Liu Xin. MCNP modeling of a neutron generator and its shielding at Missouri University of Science and Technology. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research A 767, 2014, pp. 126-134.
  14. Sagedhi H., Amrollahi R., Zare M., Fazelpour S. High efficienty focus neutron generator. Plasma Phys. Control Fusion. 2017, v. 59, pp. 1-7.
  15. Milad Seyed, Shirani Babak. Improvement of the radiographic method for measurements of effective energy of pulsed X-ray emission from a PF device for different anode’s insert materials. Applied Radiation and Isotopes. 2018, v. 136, pp. 21-26.
  16. Woo Hyun-Jong, Chung Kyu-Sun, Choi Yong-Sup, Han Chi Young et al. Optimization of Hanyang University Plasma Focus Device as a Neutron Source. Japanese Journal of Applied Physics. 2004, v. 43, no. 10, pp. 7271-7272.
  17. A Brief History of Pulsed Neutron Generators by Kevin Fischer. Available at: http://large.stanford.edu/courses/2015/ph241/fischer2/ (accessed Jul 10, 2020).
  18. FSUE VNIIA. Available at: http://test.vniia.ru/ng/nauka.html (accessed Jul 10, 2020).
  19. NRB-99/2009. Sanitary Rules and Regulations SanPiN Available at: http://docs.cntd.ru/document/902170553/ (accessed Jul 10, 2020) (in Russian).
  20. UP «ATOMTEX» website. Available at: http://atomtex.com/ru/dozimetry-dozimetry-neytronnye/dozimetr-radiometr-mks-at1117m (accessed Jul 10, 2020) (in Russian).

neutron generator mathematical simulation GEANT4 fast neutrons dose rate

Link for citing the article: Yurkov D.I., Mikerov V.I., Ryabeva E.V., Idalov V.A., Ibragimov R.F., Urupa I.V. Ensuring safe operation of university neutron generators. Izvestiya vuzov. Yadernaya Energetika. 2020, no. 3, pp. 160-167; DOI: https://doi.org/10.26583/npe.2020.3.16 (in Russian).