Neutron shielding for a new projected proton therapy facility: A Geant4 simulation study
In this work, we used the Monte Carlo-based Geant4 simulation toolkit to calculate the ambient dose equivalents due to the secondary neutron field produced in a new projected proton therapy facility. In particular the facility geometry was modeled in Geant4 based on the CAD design. Proton beams were originated with an energy of 250 MeV in the gantry rooms with different angles with respect to the patient; a fixed 250 MeV proton beam was also modeled. The ambient dose equivalent was calculated in several locations of interest inside and outside the facility, for different scenarios. The simulation results were compared qualitatively to previous work on an existing facility bearing some similarities with the design under study, showing that the ambient dose equivalent ranges obtained are reasonable. The ambient dose equivalents, calculated by means of the Geant4 simulation, were compared to the Australian regulatory limits and showed that the new facility will not pose health risks for the public or staff, with a maximum equivalent dose rate equal to 7.9 mSv/y in the control rooms and maze exit areas and 1.3·10−1 mSv/y close to the walls, outside the facility, under very conservative assumptions. This work represents the first neutron shielding verification analysis of a new projected proton therapy facility and, as such, it may serve as a new source of comparison and validation for the international community, besides confirming the viability of the project from a radioprotection point of view.