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Experimental and Computational Dose Rate Evaluation Using SN and Monte Carlo Method for a Packaged 241AmBe Neutron Source
Nuclear Science and Engineering  (IF1.381),  Pub Date : 2021-04-30, DOI: 10.1080/00295639.2021.1906587
Meng-Jen (Vince) Wang, Glenn E. Sjoden


We present a systematic computational dose rate evaluation for a packaged 1.8-Ci 241AmBe source using both Monte Carlo and deterministic approaches, with some experimental measurements for correlation. The 241AmBe source is stored in an extended 55-gal-drum container. Computational dose rate analysis is performed using MCNP6 (Monte Carlo) and PENTRAN (SN) on the Center for High Performance Computing system at the University of Utah. Limited information is available regarding internal drum shielding construction, and a reverse engineering approach is presented here to estimate the dose rate and compare with measured experimental values. Our analysis shows that a deterministic three-dimensional quadrature (SN) and anisotropic scattering (PN) order of S20P2 is sufficient for dose rate calculations of the 241AmBe source with polyethylene surrounding the source as shielding material. Higher quadrature orders, i.e., at least S70 for neutrons and S40 for photons, are needed in the presence of air due to severe streaming effects, and this is dependent upon the distance between the source and measurement locations. With air surrounding the 241AmBe source, the Monte Carlo method is considered to be better for neutron dose calculations while the SN method is considered better for photon dose calculations. Good agreement from both computational verification and experimental validation are observed for the dose “hot spot” in the extended 55-gal drum. The differences noted between the MCNP6/PENTRAN calculations are within 6% for the neutron dose rate and 30% for the photon dose rate. It is observed that more than 95% of the dose is attributed to neutrons. Detailed studies including a literature data validation, PENTRAN SN convergence study, buildup factor analysis, and dose rates with different shielding materials are presented in the narrative.