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Simulated and measured spectral characteristics of 137Cs reference radiation beams

Hakanen, A.; Siiskonen, T.; Turunen, J.

Radiation Protection Dosimetry 133(2): 81-88

2009

137Cs sources are widely used in calibrations of radiation protection dosimeters and doserate meters. In these calibrations, conversion coefficients from the air kerma to various dose equivalent quantities are needed. These conversion quantities are functions of photon energy. In this work, Monte Carlo simulations and measurements are used for quantifying the energy distributions of the photon fluence from two 137Cs sources used for calibration purposes. The results indicate that the standard set of conversion coefficients, obtained from a monoenergetic spectrum, do not sufficiently take into account the scattered radiation (most of which is scattered by the source itself): For the large (14x15.6 mm) and small (3.5x3 mm) 137Cs sources, the simulated values for the conversion coefficients H'(0.07)/Ka and H*(10)/Ka (which were nearly equal for the both quantities) showed around 1.0 and 1.5% deviations from the ISO standard value 1.20 (for the large and small sources, respectively). Similarly, the conversion coefficient Hp(10)/Ka showed around 1.5 and 2.5% deviations from the ISO standard value 1.21 for the large and small 137Cs sources, respectively, whereas Hp(0.07)/Ka had the values 1.22 and 1.23. The amplitude of the variation of the conversion coefficients due to varying 137Cs source size did not exceed 1%. Thus, the overall uncertainty (with coverage factor k=2) due to varying source size for the average values of the conversion coefficients can be estimated as low as 0.6%.

Related references

**Radiation characteristics of narrow photon beams**. Meditsinskaia Radiologiia 33(2): 50-53, 1988