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Simple Buildup Factors

In simplest terms, buildup accounts for the extra dose that scattered photons contribute through a
multiplicative correction to the uncollided dose.

Dtot  Dunc B( E0 , t )

One parameter buildup

Buildup data is usually fit to a convenient format. The one that I like the best (hint, hint) is the
1-term Taylor form:

B( E0 , t )  A1e1t

Notice that the two parameters are E0—the initial source energy—and t—the number of mean
free paths traversed through the surrounding material

What makes this so convenient is that the uncollided dose is found from:
SR  t
Dunc  e
4 r 2

So, including the buildup gives you:

SR  t
Dtot  e B( E0 , t )
4 r 2
SR  t
 e  A1e 1t 
4 r 2

A SR
 1 2 e11  t
4 r

Examining this says that you can solve a buildup problem (a total dose problem) just as easily as
an uncollided dose problem. You just have to interpret A1 as a source multiplication factor and
(1+1) as a mean free path multiplication factor. (In practice, 1 is negative—but no lower than
-1—so that it can be interpreted as the fraction by which mu is reduced.)

This interpretation, by the way, makes the 1-term Taylor easy to apply to non-point sources as
well—just use the uncollided dose formula with the source multiplied and mu reduced.

For shields with more than one material, it is best to find the buildup for each of the materials
and then keep the most conservative. In doing this you have to make sure that you use the
TOTAL mean free path through ALL materials in the buildup formula, not just that of the
particular material.
In practice, this just means that, for EACH shielding material, you solve the problem with the
source multiplied by that material’s A and ALL mu values are reduced by that material’s (1+1).
Then the answer is the highest resulting dose.

Example: A one Ci 2 MeV photon point source is submerged 1 meter into a water pool. What is
the maximum surface dose rate (in mrem/hr)? Provide both the uncollided and total dose rates.
Use the one parameter Taylor form of buildup and the most conservative value from Table D.3.

Answer: The maximum surface dose rate will be at the water’s surface right above the source, so
our equations and parameters will be:

SR  t
Dunc  e
4 r 2
A SR
Dtot  1 2 e 11  t
4 r
S  3.7 E (10) photons/sec
mrem-sec mrem-cm 2  sec
R  7.45E (12) Sv-cm  3.6 E (8)
2
 2.6820 E ( 3) (Table D.3)
Sv-hr hr
 cm 2 g
    4.940 E (2) 1  4.940 E (2) cm 1 (Table C.5)
 g cm3
r  t  100 cm
A1  2.4 (Table 7.2)
1  -0.18 (")

Plugging these numbers in gives us an uncollided surface dose of 5.65 mrem/hr and a total
surface dose of 32.99 mrem/hr.

Two parameter buildup


If I specify the two-parameter Taylor approximation, then the buildup becomes:

B( E0 , t )  A1e1t  A2e2 t

Because the physics tells us that the buildup must go to 1.000 if t goes to 0 (making the
exponential terms both go to 1), we must have:

B( E0 , 0)  1  A1e1 0  A2e 2 0  A1  A2

A2  1  A1

So, in reality, you will only be provided with A1, 1, and 2 from Table E.5 in the text, so be sure
you know how to get A2.
Therefore, working a problem with the two-parameter Taylor form is equivalent to solving TWO
burnup problems and combining the results:

Dtot 
 A1S  R e1 t   A2 S  R e1 t
1 2

4 r 2
4 r 2

Or, more specifically, it is like solving the SAME problem TWICE, with different values of the
source multiplier (A) and the attenuation multiplier (1+) and combining the results.

Example: Repeat the previous problems using the two parameter Taylor form of buildup. (The
uncollided dose will not change.)

Answer: The extra parameters needed are the buildup factors from Table E.5:

Dtot 
 A1S  R e1 t   A2 S  R e1 t
1 2

4 r 2 4 r 2

A1  32.192 (Table E.5)


1  -0.0271 (")
 2  .0041 (")

Putting these values in with the ones we looked up before gives us:

Dtot 
 A1S  R e1 t   A2 S  R e1 t
1 2

4 r 2 4 r 2
 206.91  172.70
 34.2 mrem/hr
Sample design problem

Now we look at a design problem, where you know the desired limiting dose rate and have to
find shielding thickness required. For such a problem on a timed test (i.e., the final exam), I will
let you use the one parameter Taylor form of buildup, so

Dtot 
 A1S  R e1 t
1

4 r 2

The ways that each of these terms is determined from data given in the text are shown in the
following example. To put numbers on it, we assume you want to find the maximum surface
dose on top of an 80 cm slab of concrete that covers a 2 curie point source of 5 MeV photons.

 S p is found from the decay rate times the number of gammas (and their energy) released
per decay.

For the example, this would be:

S p   2 Ci   3.7  1010 disintegrations/Ci  1 photon/disintegration 


=7.4  1010 photons/sec

For cases in which I give you the mass of an isotope, you have to find the activity yourself, using
Appendix H data.

Example: Source is 1 microgram of 47Sc:

.000001 g
N 47   6.022 E (23) atoms/mole  1.2815 E16 atoms
47 g/mole
ln 2 1 day
47    2.3984 E (6)
3.345 days 24  60  60 sec
A47  47 N 47  3.0735E (10) Bq
S47  0.6790  A47  2.0869 E (10) photons/sec

 R̂ is found from Appendix D of the text. If not stated, the most conservative to use is the
Anteroposterior (AP) value by energy

For the example, this would be Rˆ  14.7  1012 Sv-cm 2

I often have you work in mrem/hr, so this is a good place to get in those units:
105 mrem 3600 sec
Rˆ  14.7  1012 Sv-cm 2   
Sv hr
3
 5.292  10 mrem-cm -sec/hr
2

 r is the distance from source to detector. For the example, this is 80 cm

  is the linear attenuation coefficient. This is found from Appendix C values of m/r
multiplied by the density of the material (found in the footnotes from the Appendix C
table used, although you are expected to know that water density is 1 g/cc)

Example: Attenuating material is water, so 5 MeV values for concrete are used:


    2.895  102 cm 2 /g  2.3 g/cm 3 

=0.06659 cm-1

 t is the thickness of the shielding material, which is sometimes equal to r and sometimes
not. For the example, this is 80 cm

 A1 and 1 are found from the single-term form of the Taylor form for buildup. This table
is in Chapter 7. For the example, these values are 1.8 and -0.14, respectively.

 E0 is the initial energy of the photon. For the example, this is 5 MeV.

  is the optical thickness of the shield, or the number of mean free paths that the particle
has to travel through the shield.
Example: Attenuating material is water, so 5 MeV values for concrete are used:

  t   0.06685 cm1  80 cm 


=5.327

B( E0 , ) is found from the equation given above. For the example, this is:

 0.14  5.327 
B( E0 , )  A1e 1  1.8e  3.794

(The negative-negative in the exponential is a little tricky; always remember that


buildup is buildUP, and should always be > 1.)

Solving the problem


Putting this all together (using the example) would give us:
Dtot 
 A1S  R e1 t
1

4 r 2
1.8  7.4 1010 photons/sec  5.292 103 mrem-cm 2 -sec/hr  .860.06659 cm 80cm -1

 e
4  80 
2

 89.755 mrem/hr

Design problem
I will usually give you a design problem, usually involving coverage of a source with a layer of
water, concrete, etc. So, t=r.

To show how this is done, assume I asked for the water coverage that would reduce the above
dose rate to 0.5 mrem/hr at the surface.

Returning to the above equation, we would have:

Dtot 
 A1S  R e1 t
1

4 r 2

1.8  7.4  1010 photons/sec 5.292  103 mrem-cm 2 -sec/hr   


.86  0.06659 cm-1 r
0.5 mrem/hr  e
4 r 2

5.609  10 0.05726 cm r
7 -1

 e mrem/hr
r2
or
0.5 e 0.05726r

5.609  107 r2
or
e 0.05726r
 8.914  109
r2

If you are lucky enough to have EXCEL open, using the “goal seek” option quickly delivers the
answer as r=148.92 cm. Solving by trial-and-error might be a little more tedious.

A recurrence relation to solve for the r in the exponential (converges in a few iterations):

e0.05726r  8.914 109 r 2

r

ln 8.914 109 r 2   ln 8.914 10   2 ln  r 
9

0.05726 0.05726



ln 8.914 109  2 ln  r 
0.05726 0.05726
rnew  323.69  34.927 ln(rold )

The rnew becomes rold for the next round. It should settle down in a few rounds.