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Radiat Prot Dosimetry. 2005;115(1-4):536-41.

Effective quality factors for neutrons based on the revised ICRP/ICRU recommendations.

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  • 1Y-12, National Security Complex, P.O. Box 2009, M.S. 8105, Oak Ridge, TN 37831-8105, USA.


The quality factor (Q) is intended to relate the biological effectiveness of a radiation to the absorbed dose delivered in tissue. Quality factors are defined as a function of the unrestricted linear energy transfer (L) relationship in water and are used with operational quantities. Radiation weighting factors (wR) are used in protection quantities to take into account total radiation detriment. While the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) defines the Q(L) relationship, the International Commission on Radiation Units and Measurements (ICRU) recommends the charged particle stopping power and range data. If either of these data recommendations change, the quality factors must be recomputed. The latest guidance from both organisations applicable to neutron quality factors are the ICRP Publication 60 (Q(L) relationship) and the ICRU Report 49 (stopping power and range data). In the present study, absorbed dose conversion coefficients (pGy cm2) were calculated for two operational quantities defined by the ICRU--the ambient absorbed dose and the personal absorbed dose. Dose-equivalent (pSv cm2) conversion coefficients were also computed using mean quality factors based on ICRP 60 and ICRU 49 recommendations. Effective quality factors were then calculated from the ratio of the dose-equivalent to the absorbed dose conversion coefficients for both the personal dose-equivalent and ambient dose-equivalent and compared to values reported in the literature.

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