During the operational life of a PET Cyclotron, the concrete walls of the cyclotron vault are activated by the secondary neutron flux interacting with rare earths and metals present in the concrete or in reinforcement bars. For this reason, when considering dismantling of such accelerators, the amount of radioactive waste has to be evaluated in advance to identify any critical issues or possible countermeasures to be taken to define an optimum decommissioning strategy.
The aim of this work was to define a non-destructive in situ measurement methodology for a preliminary activation assessment of a cyclotron bunker with no need for core drilling.
A Kromek GR1 compact, USB-powered, CdZnTe (CZT) detector for gamma-ray spectrometry was used for the activation assessment of the site of installation of a GE PETtrace (16.5 MeV) cyclotron, routinely used in the production of positron-emitting radionuclides.
Because of the complexity of measurement geometry, the efficiency calibration of the detector was performed via Monte Carlo (MC) simulations. The detector was accurately modelled using FLUKA, including a 5 cm lead shielding set-up.
The MC model of the detector was validated for a wide range of energies and different source geometries, showing discrepancies below 5% for all tested sources. The efficiency curve for wall activation measurements was calculated, allowing a quantitative evaluation of activity concentration.