Simulation Monte-Carlo de la radiolyse du dosimètre de Fricke par des neutrons rapides
Monte-Carlo calculations are used to simulate the stochastic effects of fast neutron-induced chemical changes in the radiolysis of the ferrous sulfate (Fricke) dosimeter. To study the dependence of the yield of ferric ions, G(Fe[superscript 3+]), on fast neutron energy, we have simulated, at 25 [degree centigrade], the oxidation of ferrous ions in aerated aqueous 0.4 M H[subscript 2]SO[subscript 4] (pH 0.46) solutions when subjected to ~0.5-10 MeV incident neutrons, as a function of time up to ~50 s. The radiation effects due to fast neutrons are estimated on the basis of track segment (or"escape") yields calculated for the first four recoil protons with appropriate weighting according to the energy deposited by each of these protons. For example, a 0.8-MeV neutron generates recoil protons of 0.505, 0.186, 0.069, and 0.025 MeV, with linear energy transfer (LET) values of ~41, 69, 82, and 62 keV/[micro]m, respectively. In doing so, we consider that further recoils make only a negligible contribution to radiation processes. Our results show that the radiolysis of dilute aqueous solutions by fast neutrons produces smaller radical yields and larger molecular yields (relative to the corresponding yields for the radiolysis of water by [superscript 60]Co [gamma]-rays or fast electrons) due to the high LET associated to fast neutrons. The effect of recoil ions of oxygen, which is also taken into account in the calculations, is shown to decrease G(Fe[superscript 3+]) by about 10%. Our calculated values of G(Fe[superscript 3+]) are found to increase slightly with increasing neutron energy over the energy range covered in this study, in good agreement with available experimental data. We have also simulated the effect of temperature on the G(Fe[superscript 3+]) values in the fast neutron radiolysis of the Fricke dosimeter from 25 to 300 [degree centigrade]. Our results show an increase of G(Fe[superscript 3+]) with increasing temperature, which is readily explained by an increase in the yields of free radicals and a decrease in those of molecular products. For 0.8-MeV incident neutrons (the only case for which experimental data are available in the literature), there is a ~23% increase in G(Fe[superscript 3+]) on going from 25 to 300 [degree centigrade]. Although these results are in reasonable agreement with experiment, more experimental data, in particular for different incident neutron energies, would be needed to test more rigorously our Fe[superscript 3+] ion yield results at elevated temperatures.