Cabinet-Safe Challenges for Portable Accelerator Operation

J.K. Billa; D.P. Wells; and J.F. Harmon (Idaho State University)

The use or proposed of accelerators in homeland security, industrial and other field environments has grown dramatically in the last few years for a variety of applications. These include fissile and explosive material detection, applied material science, treatment of wastes, and many others. The safe operation of these accelerators in uncontrolled environments poses difficult challenges due to the extremely high dose rates that such accelerators produce. We investigated the critical parameters that are necessary to deploy 4-20 MeV accelerators in the field as a preliminary step toward the development of "cabinet-safe" accelerator technology. The development this technology would remove the only major barrier to large-scale "field" applications of accelerators to environmental, industrial and homeland security applications. The effects that we investigated include the timing synchronization between electron injection and RF injection into accelerators, the beam-optics of the accelerator's resonant cavity, the localized shielding around the accelerator's resonant cavity, the beam-optics in the vicinity of the exit-port/bremsstrahlung converter, and coupling between these various parameters. The results include the contribution of each of these factors and several potential cabinet-safe designs.

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