Linac based thermal neutron source construction and characterization.
Monti V. per la Collaborazione e_LIBANS
In the framework of the e\_LIBANS project, an intense thermal neutron source has been designed and commissioned in spring 2017 at the Physics Department of Turin University for diverse interdisciplinary irradiation purposes. It is based on an electron medical Linac, ELEKTA SL18, in gamma-mode configuration coupled to an innovative photo-converter-moderator apparatus which deploys the (g,n) reaction on a lead target to convert the bremsstrahlung photons into a neutron field. Suitable materials and geometries are chosen to slow down neutrons and to reduce the gamma and fast-neutron contamination in the irradiation cavity. The thermal neutron field is qualified in a metrological way using dedicated detectors developed inside the e\_LiBANS project. This communication describes the results obtained with the first benchmark experiments and gives an overview of the future expected achievements.