Neutron generators as a source of neutrons for scientific and medical applications

Our neutron generators already find application at numerous academic institutions and are part of many neutron experiments. In collaboration with the Physics Department of the University of Liverpool development tests were conducted and a neutron flux equivalent to a point source strength of ~ 1 x 107 was measured n / s. Increasing the input power to the reactor chamber will increase the neutron output. Laboratory measurements of the University of Mannheim have used thermal neutron counting techniques to verify the output. Two different neutron area dosimeters measured the neutron field at distances from 1 to 2m from the NSD GARDEL FUSION neutron generator fitted with a short electrode. The dosage measurements were similar. With the assistance of Dr. Klett of Berthold Technologies, the calibration data of a LB 6411 Neutron Probe was used to determine the neutron source emission rate at a reference voltage and current. A customer has also performed measurements using different thermal neutron detection and counting methods. Secondary or scattered neutrons from the surrounding walls, ceiling and floor were shielded from the detector so that the flux was mostly from the direction of the neutron generator. A crane was used to suspend the neutron generator above a table in order to minimise the effects of surrounding structures. These measurements were comparable with those of the neutron dosimeters.

BCNT(The boron neutron-capture therapy)

Moreover, neutrons will find application in the medical field. The boron neutron-capture therapy is a potential future cancer treatment. Hence, boron compounds are introduced into the cancer cells and are irradiated with slow (thermal) neutrons. The reaction occurring thereby liberates fast helium and lithium ions, whose range and therefore destructive effect is similar to the expansion of a cell. It is essential for this method to find non-toxic boron compounds which accumulate stronger in tumor tissue than in normal tissues accumulate in order to destroy those selectively by neutron irradiation. The special physiology of cancer cells plays a key role. An attempt is made to bind amino acids to a boron cluster (carbaborane icosahedron). Healthy tissue could thereby be completely spared. Slow neutrons cause very little damage to tissues. With a suitable boron compound, which is hardly stored in healthy tissue, deep-seated tumors could be treated without surgery.

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