2011 Accelerators Article Beams ICNCT14 Physics

High-power liquid-lithium target prototype for accelerator-based boron neutron capture therapy

Applied Radiation and Isotopes, 2011

Authors:   S. Halfon,M. Paul,A. Arenshtam,D. Berkovits,M. Bisyakoev,I. Eliyahu,G. Feinberg,N. Hazenshprung,D. Kijel,A. Nagler,I. Silverman,
Journal: Applied Radiation and Isotopes
Abstract: A prototype of a compact Liquid-Lithium Target (LiLiT), which will possibly constitute an accelerator-based intense neutron source for Boron Neutron Capture Therapy (BNCT) in hospitals, was built. The LiLiT setup is presently being commissioned at Soreq Nuclear Research Center (SNRC). The liquid-lithium target will produce neutrons through the 7Li(p,n)7Be reaction and it will overcome the major problem of removing the thermal power generated using a high-intensity proton beam (>10kW), necessary for sufficient neutron flux. In off-line circulation tests, the liquid-lithium loop generated a stable lithium jet at high velocity, on a concave supporting wall; the concept will first be tested using a high-power electron beam impinging on the lithium jet. High intensity proton beam irradiation (1.91–2.5MeV, 2–4mA) will take place at Soreq Applied Research Accelerator Facility (SARAF) superconducting linear accelerator currently in construction at SNRC. Radiological risks due to the 7Be produced in the reaction were studied and will be handled through a proper design, including a cold trap and appropriate shielding. A moderator/reflector assembly is planned according to a Monte Carlo simulation, to create a neutron spectrum and intensity maximally effective to the treatment and to reduce prompt gamma radiation dose risks.