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MEDAPP & NECTAR
Fission neutron facility for scientific, medical, and industrial applications
Both the instruments MEDAPP (medical applications) and NECTAR (neutron computed tomography and radiography) are located at the world-wide unique fast neutron beam tube SR10 to which a uranium converter is attached. Both instruments are operated with fission neutrons and can be used for a broad variety of different applications. For selected tasks, an alternative use with thermal neutrons is under implementation.
MEDAPP is an instrument primarily built for the medical treatment of malignant tumours; but the irradiation room (see Figure 1 and 2) can also be used for general purposes, e.g. for biological research and technical irradiations. Due to their energy spectrum, fast reactor neutrons have the highest biological effectiveness of clinical neutron beams used in cancer treatment, comparable only to the effectiveness of heavy ions. This advantage comes at the expense of penetration depth in tissue, which – due to the relatively low energy of 2 MeV – limits the application of fast reactor neutrons to near-surface tumours, typically recurrent breast tumours and melanomas. The particularly large beam cross-section of SR10 allows the irradiation of rather large objects, such as groups of cell culture flasks or complete electronic devices. In addition, the FaNGas (Fast Neutron Gamma Spectrometry) instrument, consisting of a movable shielded HPGe detector system, can be installed within the MEDAPP irradiation chamber to directly measure gamma radiation emitted, e.g., in (n,n’), (n,2n), (n,p), and (n,α) reactions and for non-destructive qualitative elemental analysis.
NECTAR is a versatile facility for the non-destructive inspection of various objects by means of fission neutron radiography and tomography, respectively. The images (radiographs, 2- and 3-D-tomographs etc.) obtained from probing objects by means of fission neutrons often show complementary or additional information compared to the investigation with X-rays, Gamma-radiation or even cold or thermal neutrons. Especially for large objects consisting of dense materials, the deep penetration of fission neutrons is well suited for their non-destructive investigation, still being sensitive for the detection of hydrogen containing materials.
The instrument NECTAR is controlled using the Networked Integrated Control System (see also NICOS). It is a python based control environment, allowing a simple use for non-experienced users and the development of individual scripts for more advanced users.
The acquired radiographs are available in different image formats (e.g. fits and tif) and can be processed by most common image processing tools. On demand, reconstruction and visualization software is available on-site for data analysis.
Technical Data & Typical Applications
Converter facility, consisting of 2 plates of uranium-silicide. (93% 235U, total 540 g)
Tobias Chemnitz (MEDAPP)
Phone: +49 (0)89 289-54717
Dr. Adrian Losko (NECTAR)
Phone: +49 (0)89 289-14756
Dr. Thomas Bücherl (NECTAR)
Phone: +49 (0)89 289-14328
Telefon: +49 (0)89 289-14831
Telefon: +49 (0)89 289-11777
Find the latest publications regarding MEDAPP in our publication database iMPULSE:
Find the latest publications regarding NECTAR in our publication database iMPULSE:
MEDAPP: Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Zentrum. (2015). MEDAPP: Fission neutron beam for science, medicine, and industry. Journal of large-scale research facilities, 1, A18. http://dx.doi.org/10.17815/jlsrf-1-43
NECTAR: Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Zentrum. (2015). NECTAR: Radiography and tomography station using fission neutrons. Journal of large-scale research facilities, 1, A19. http://dx.doi.org/10.17815/jlsrf-1-45
For citation please always include the DOI.