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The Design of Target and Moderator to Produce a Neutron Flux Suitable for Boron Neutron Capture Therapy

Y Meng*, Y Watanabe , J Broadhurst , University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN


(Sunday, 7/29/2018) 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Room: Exhibit Hall

Purpose: Boron Neutron Capture Therapy has been established as a useful method for the elimination of certain cancers, to date glioblastomas and melanomas. Unfortunately the process relies on an incident flux of low energy (epithermal) neutrons, which to date have only been available from nuclear reactors. In most countries such reactors are not available in clinical institutions. This work describes the design of a target capable of producing an adequate neutrons flux using the (p,n) reaction produced by the interaction of protons of 2.5 MeV energy with a lithium target.

Methods: Monte Carlo particle simulation based on Geant4 platform is used to simulate nuclear process on target and moderator in this study. Finite-element thermal hydraulic software and semi-analytical solution are adopted for target heat transfer analysis. ENDF-VII nuclear data library are used for nuclear cross section calculation.

Results: Protons are produced by a high current accelerator. A 87μm lithium target with coated materials and liquid cooling system capable of absorbing energy of 5 kilowatts from the proton beam is designed.The target is followed by a moderator, using liquid deuterated methane in preference to heavy water to produce a neutron flux with the required intensity and neutron energy distribution.

Conclusion: The physics and conceptual engineering design of an accelerator based neutron source for Boron Neutron Capture Therapy are accomplished in this study. The Monte Carlo simulation shows that for a typical glioblastomas case, the neutron source intensity and energy distribution can date the requirement of IAEA.

Funding Support, Disclosures, and Conflict of Interest: University of Minnesota patent office has a conditional disclosure agreement with the authors on this study


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