The minimum size of a water phantom used for calibration of an epithermal neutron beam of the boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) facility at the VTT FiR 1 research reactor is studied by Monte Carlo simulations. The criteria for the size of the phantom were established relative to the neutron and photon radiation fields present at the thermal neutron fluence maximum in the central beam axis (considered as the reference point). At the reference point, for the most commonly used beam aperture size at FiR 1 (14 cm diameter), less than 1% disturbance of the neutron and gamma radiation fields in a phantom were achieved with a minimum a 30 cm × 30 cm cross section of the phantom. For the largest 20 cm diameter beam aperture size, a minimum 40 cm × 40 cm cross-section of the phantom and depth of 20 cm was required to achieve undisturbed radiation field. This size can be considered as the minimum requirement for a reference phantom for dosimetry at FiR 1. The secondary objective was to determine the phantom dimensions for full characterization of the FiR 1 beam in a rectangular water phantom. In the water scanning phantom, isodoses down to the 5% level are measured for the verifications of the beam model in the dosimetric and treatment planning calculations. The dose distribution results without effects caused by the limited phantom size were achieved for the maximum aperture diameter (20 cm) with a 56 cm × 56 cm × 28 cm rectangular phantom. A similar approach to study the required minimum dimensions of the reference and water scanning phantoms can be used for epithermal neutron beams at the other BNCT facilities.
- epithermal irradiation
- epithermal neutrons
- boron neutron capture therapy