Benchmarking of stray neutron fields produced by synchrocyclotrons and synchrotrons in compact protontherapy centers (CPTC) using MCNP6 Monte Carlo code

Gonzalo F. García-Fernandez, Eduardo Gallego, José M. Gómez-Ros, Héctor R. Vega-Carrillo, Karen A. Guzman-García, Lenin E. Cevallos-Robalino, Roberto García-Baonza, Eduardo Fuentes Hernández

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Proton therapy is an external radiotherapy using proton beams with energies between 70 and 230 MeV to treat some type of tumours with outstanding benefits, due to its energy transfer plot. There is a growing demand of facilities taking up small spaces and Compact Proton Therapy Centers (CPTC), with one or two treatment rooms, supposing the technical response of manufacturers to this request. A large amount of stray radiation is yielded in the interaction of proton beam used in therapy, neutrons mainly, hence, optimal design of shielding and verifications must be carried out in commissioning phases. Currently, almost 50 proton centers are under construction and start up in several countries, including ten in Spain. In the present work the effectiveness of shielding in two CPTC was verified with the Monte Carlo code MCNP6 by calculating the ambient dose equivalent, H*(10) due to secondary neutrons, outside the enclosures and walls of the center. The facilities modelled were the two centers currently operating in Spain, the first, since December 2019, with a superconductor synchrocyclotron, and the second, since March 2020, with a compact synchrotron. The geometry and materials are based on dimensions proposed a priori by the vendors, therefore, the paper is focused on check the suitability of the materials and thickness of the walls of the centers. Several models of the radiation sources were simulated, starting from a conservative assumptions, followed by more realistic scenarios. In all cases, the results reached for the ambient dose equivalent, H*(10), were below 1 mSv/year, which is the legal limit considered for the public in international references. Finally, considering that the recent ICRU Report 95 proposes changes in the operational quantities, the dose outside shieldingt has been evaluated in terms of the new next area surveillance quantity, H*, known as ambient dose, in the process of implementation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110645
JournalApplied Radiation and Isotopes
StatePublished - Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by ETSII- UPM , Faculty of Industrial Engineers, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, grant number ETSII-UPM22-PU04 , “Primeros proyectos”.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd


  • Ambient dose
  • Ambient dose equivalent
  • Compact proton therapy centers
  • MCNP6.2
  • Shielding commissioning


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