Experimental simulation of A-bomb gamma ray spectra for radiobiology studies

JE Pattison, Richard Hugtenburg, Monty Charles, Alun Beddoe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)


Improved radiation protection of humans requires a better understanding of the mechanisms of radiation action and accurate estimates of radiation risk for both internal and external radiations. The Japanese atomic bomb survivors represent one of the most important sources of human data on the late carcinogenic effects of ionising radiations, The present study was undertaken to investigate whether it would be possible to use hospital radiotherapy/radiobiology equipment to mimic the spectra encountered in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The estimated total gamma ray fluence spectra (including both prompt and delayed photons) at both Hiroshima and Nagasaki, for distances of 500, 1000, 1500 and 2000 m have been evaluated using DS86 data and previously unpublished information for delayed gamma radiations which constitute the major contribution to survivor doses. Monte Carlo (EGS4) simulations were performed to transport these photons through the body in order to investigate the variation in electron spectra for various body organs. The electron spectra obtained for these fluences at, for example, the colon, have been matched with combinations of electron spectra produced by linear accelerators to within 5% SD. These will, for the first time, enable a direct link to be made between radiobiological studies (for example, on mammography spectra) and the epidemiological data from Japan, which currently underpin radiation risk estimates.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-135
Number of pages11
JournalRadiation Protection Dosimetry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2001


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