Uncertainties in linac primary barrier transmission values.
Journal of applied clinical medical physics
Primary barrier design for linac shielding depends very sensitively on tenth value layer (TVL) data. Inaccuracies can lead to large discrepancies between measured and calculated values of the barrier transmission. Values of the TVL for concrete quoted in several widely used standard references are substantially different than those calculated more recently. The older standard TVL data predict significantly lower radiation levels outside primary barriers than the more recently calculated values under some circumstances. The difference increases with increasing barrier thickness and energy, and it can be as large as a factor of 4 for 18 MV and concrete thickness of 200 cm. This may be due to significant differences in the beam spectra between the earlier and the more recent calculations. Measured instantaneous air kerma rates sometimes show large variations for the same energy and thickness. This may be due to confounding factors such as extra material on, or inside the barrier, variable field size at the barrier, density of concrete, and distal distance from the barrier surface. In some cases, the older TVL data significantly underestimate measured instantaneous air kerma rates, by up to a factor of 3, even when confounding factors are taken into account. This could lead to the necessity for expensive remediation. The more recent TVL values tend to overestimate the measured instantaneous dose rates. Reference TVL data should be computed in a manner that is mathematically consistent with their use in the calculation of air kerma rate outside barriers directly from the linac "dose" rate in MU/min.
McDermott PN, Sigler MD, Lake IP, Lack D. Uncertainties in linac primary barrier transmission values. J Appl Clin Med Phys. 2022 Apr;23(4):e13574. doi: 10.1002/acm2.13574. Epub 2022 Mar 2. PMID: 35235233; PMCID: PMC8992934.