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Title: Mathematical modeling of a survey-meter used to measure radioactivity in human thyroids: Monte Carlo calculations of the device response and uncertainties.
Authors: Khrutchinsky A,  Drozdovitch V,  Kutsen S,  Minenko V,  Khrouch V,  Luckyanov N,  Voillequé P,  Bouville A
Journal: Appl Radiat Isot
Date: 2012 Apr
Branches: REB
PubMed ID: 22245289
PMC ID: PMC3430078
Abstract: This paper presents results of Monte Carlo modeling of the SRP-68-01 survey meter used to measure exposure rates near the thyroid glands of persons exposed to radioactivity following the Chernobyl accident. This device was not designed to measure radioactivity in humans. To estimate the uncertainty associated with the measurement results, a mathematical model of the SRP-68-01 survey meter was developed and verified. A Monte Carlo method of numerical simulation of radiation transport has been used to calculate the calibration factor for the device and evaluate its uncertainty. The SRP-68-01 survey meter scale coefficient, an important characteristic of the device, was also estimated in this study. The calibration factors of the survey meter were calculated for (131)I, (132)I, (133)I, and (135)I content in the thyroid gland for six age groups of population: newborns; children aged 1 yr, 5 yr, 10 yr, 15 yr; and adults. A realistic scenario of direct thyroid measurements with an "extended" neck was used to calculate the calibration factors for newborns and one-year-olds. Uncertainties in the device calibration factors due to variability of the device scale coefficient, variability in thyroid mass and statistical uncertainty of Monte Carlo method were evaluated. Relative uncertainties in the calibration factor estimates were found to be from 0.06 for children aged 1 yr to 0.1 for 10-yr and 15-yr children. The positioning errors of the detector during measurements deviate mainly in one direction from the estimated calibration factors. Deviations of the device position from the proper geometry of measurements were found to lead to overestimation of the calibration factor by up to 24 percent for adults and up to 60 percent for 1-yr children. The results of this study improve the estimates of (131)I thyroidal content and, consequently, thyroid dose estimates that are derived from direct thyroid measurements performed in Belarus shortly after the Chernobyl accident.