Review of Deterministic Neutron RBEs for Survivable Personnel Radiation Exposures from Nuclear Detonation Simulations
Applied Research Associates Arlington United States
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To improve current casualty estimations for nuclear detonation scenarios, an approach to account for the relative biological effectiveness RBE of neutrons from prompt radiation exposures is required. This report details a series of efforts to address this need. The energies and radiation doses of neutrons that might be encountered in surviving populations are presented using urban radiation transport studies. The radiobiology of neutrons is reviewed, and a selection of whole animal experiments providing insight on the lethality dose response from mixed field exposures neutron and photon were identified. An approach for estimating dose-dependent neutron RBEs was developed. Currently used neutron RBEs are examined. Based on the collective findings, we suggest a dose-dependent neutron RBE function based on non-human primate data or a single neutron RBE of 2 which we expect to be adequate for casualty estimation purposes. As new data are made available, these estimates should be revisited.