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Uncertainty associated with Monte Carlo radiation transport in radionuclide metrology
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In radionuclide metrology, Monte Carlo (MC) simulation is widely used to compute parameters associated with primary measurements or calibration factors. Although MC methods are used to estimate uncertainties, the uncertainty associated with radiation transport in MC calculations is usually difficult to estimate. Counting statistics is the most obvious component of MC uncertainty and has to be checked carefully, particularly when variance reduction is used. However, in most cases fluctuations associated with counting statistics can be reduced using sufficient computing power. Cross-section data have intrinsic uncertainties that induce correlations when apparently independent codes are compared. Their effect on the uncertainty of the estimated parameter is difficult to determine and varies widely from case to case. Finally, the most significant uncertainty component for radionuclide applications is usually that associated with the detector geometry. Recent 2D and 3D x-ray imaging tools may be utilized, but comparison with experimental data as well as adjustments of parameters are usually inevitable.
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