We evaluated the accuracy of a self-activation method with iodine-containing scintillators in quantifying 128I generation in an activation detector; the self-activation method was recently proposed for photo-neutron on-line measurements around X-ray radiotherapy machines. Here, we consider the accuracy of determining the initial count rate R0, observed just after termination of neutron irradiation of the activation detector. The value R0 is directly related to the amount of activity generated by incident neutrons; the detection efficiency of radiation emitted from the activity should be taken into account for such an evaluation. Decay curves of 128I activity were numerically simulated by a computer program for various conditions including different initial count rates (R0) and background rates (RB), as well as counting statistical fluctuations. The data points sampled at minute intervals and integrated over the same period were fit by a non-linear least-squares fitting routine to obtain the value R0 as a fitting parameter with an associated uncertainty. The corresponding background rate RB was simultaneously calculated in the same fitting routine. Identical data sets were also evaluated by a well-known integration algorithm used for conventional activation methods and the results were compared with those of the proposed fitting method. When we fixed RB = 500 cpm, the relative uncertainty σR0/R0 ≤ 0.02 was achieved for R0/RB ≥ 20 with 20 data points from 1 min to 20 min following the termination of neutron irradiation used in the fitting; σR0/R0 ≤ 0.01 was achieved for R0/RB ≥ 50 with the same data points. Reasonable relative uncertainties to evaluate initial count rates were reached by the decay-fitting method using practically realistic sampling numbers. These results clarified the theoretical limits of the fitting method. The integration method was found to be potentially vulnerable to short-term variations in background levels, especially instantaneous contaminations by spike-like noise. The fitting method easily detects and removes such spike-like noise.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment|
|Publication status||Published - Aug 23 2015|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics