A Safety Analysis of a Reconfigurable Linac Target

P.F. Caracappa and R.C. Block (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute)

The RPI Linear Accelerator Facility is a 60 MeV L-band electron accelerator, typically operating with reconfigurable Tantalum targets to generate bremsstrahlung x-rays and neutrons for experimental purposes. Following shutdown, these targets continue to emit decay radiation from activation during operation. Facility personnel may need to access the target area and exchange or reconfigure the targets in use while significant radiation levels persist. A radiation analysis of the targets in use is performed to characterize the residual radiation field resulting from activation of the LINAC targets. A series of post-shutdown exposure measurements are performed to characterize the radiation field. Exposure levels and trends are compared to calculated predictions. The results are used to ensure the target room area is properly classified and posted as a radiation area, and to develop operating guidelines for LINAC personnel in the target room. Metrics are developed that ensure that radiation exposure from normal operations are maintained as low as reasonably achievable, and indicate in what situations further radiation safety review is required before operations continue.

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