Vol. 8, 2023

Medical Physics

TOWARDS THE IMPLEMENTATION OF A PHANTOM FOR THE LOW CONTRAST EVALUATION OF ELECTRONIC PORTAL IMAGING DETECTORS (EPID): A THEORETICAL STUDY

Nektarios Kalyvas, Marios K. Tzomakas, Vasiliki Peppa, Antigoni Alexiou, Georgios Karakatsanis, Anastasios Episkopakis, Christos Michail, Ioannis Valais, George Fountos, Ioannis S. Kandarakis

Pages: 1-4

DOI: 10.37392/RapProc.2023.01

Electronic Portal Imaging Systems (EPIDs) are used in Radiotherapy treatment as part of the patient positioning verification check and for portal dosimetry purposes. The quality control of the imaging performance of an EPID is performed with dedicated phantoms. In this work, an examination through Monte Carlo (MC) simulation is presented in order to determine an appropriate step wedge phantom configuration for measuring low contrast differences in EPIDs. The PENELOPE based MC software package PenEasy was used. A simple geometry of a narrow cone beam with a cross section of 0.00053 cm2 at 100 cm distance was assumed. A 2 MeV beam was considered to impinge on a 4 cm water equivalent phantom in conjunction with a metal sheet of Pb, Al, Fe or W positioned at 80 cm distance. At 100 cm distance a Gd2O2S:Tb scintillator, as part of an EPID responsible for detecting X-rays was assumed. The Gd2O2S:Tb thicknesses considered were 0.02cm and 0.03 cm. All the metal thicknesses were allowed to range from 0.1 cm to 1.5 cm per 0.1 cm step. The optical photons escaping to the Gd2O2S:Tb output were calculated by an analytical formula for each metal thickness. Hence, if a wedge metallic pattern from 0.1 cm to 1.5 cm is assumed to be constructed, then the optical photon output originating from each step, as well as the signal contrast between two steps would be known. It was found that a combination of Pb, Fe and W materials can be used for a step wedge phantom design.
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Radiation Protection

MONITORING OF 210Po AND URANIUM IN VEGETABLES AND FRUITS IN KUWAIT

Aishah Alboloushi, Omar Alboloushi

Pages: 5-7

DOI: 10.37392/RapProc.2023.02

Polonium-210 and uranium were monitored in most consumed vegetables and fruits in Kuwait following two validated procedures (radiochemical separation and then measurements using alpha spectrometry). The highest 210Po activity concentration was found in dates and bananas (111.4±25 and 107±16 mBq/kg respectively), while the lowest was monitored in green pepper (12 ± 2 mBq/kg). Uranium radioisotopes were below minimal detectable activity (0.25 Bq/kg). The importance of the study can be linked to the high local consumption of imported fruits and vegetables from different countries with different nuclear histories in addition to the fact that most Kuwaitis are being vegetarians nowadays. Conclusively, radiological data for natural alpha emitters have been established for fruits and vegetables in Kuwait, and they were found to agree with international similar data confirming their radiological safety. Future studies will be done determining gamma emitters in fruits and vegetables, in addition to the seafood analysis because it is the 1st source of 210Po incorporation.
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Novelties in Covid-19 research

CLIMATE EFFECTS OF AEROSOLS AND RADON ON COVID-19 PANDEMIC IN BUCHAREST METROPOLITAN AREA

Maria Zoran, Roxana Savastru, Dan Savastru, Marina Tautan

Pages: 8-14

DOI: 10.37392/RapProc.2023.03

This paper investigated the influences of urban aerosols and radon (222Rn) together climate parameters variability at both local and regional scales in relationship with COVID-19 pandemic incidence and mortality in Bucharest metropolitan area of Romania, considered one of the European’s most polluted hotspots cities. A spatio-temporal analysis of the daily particulate matter in two size fractions PM10 and PM2.5 in relation with daily radon concentrations and meteorological parameters was done through synergy of in-situ monitoring data and MODIS Terra/Aqua time-series satellite data for March 2020-April 2022 time period. This study investigated the COVID-19 waves patterns under different air quality and meteorological conditions, highlighting the role of synoptic anticyclonic stagnant conditions during each COVID-19 wave for SARS-CoV-2 virus spreading. These results contribute to a better understanding of urban decision makers and epidemiologists through considering the specific characteristics of different urban sectors for air quality improvement.
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Radiobiology

CHANGES IN VARIOUS AMINO ACID CONCENTRATIONS IN THE SMALL INTESTINE AND PATHOGENESIS OF INTESTINAL INJURY CAUSED BY CARBON ION IRRADIATION

Saori Nakamura, Nobuhiko Takai, Yoshino Katsuki, Akiko Uzawa, Ryoichi Hirayama, Yoshihito Ohba

Pages: 15-19

DOI: 10.37392/RapProc.2023.04

The intestinal crypt stem cells in the gut have a high growth potential and radiosensitivity that is dose-dependently reduced by carbon-ion irradiation, and intestinal death occurs by the arrest of epithelial cells supply in high-dose areas. Therefore, the development of intestinal radioprotection methods may contribute to more effective and less harmful carbon-ion radiotherapy. We have demonstrated that N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonists reduce radiation-induced intestinal injury and that the activation of NMDA receptors significantly increased 24 hours after irradiation. In this study, we investigated the association with amino acid concentration that activates NMDA receptors in intestinal injury in irradiated mice. To investigate changes in amino acid concentration in mouse small intestine by carbon ion irradiation, we developed the HPLC method for the determination of six amino acids and related compounds—glycine (Gly), serine (Ser), aspartic acid (Asp), glutamic acid (Glu), taurine (Tau), and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA). C3H/He female mice were abdominally irradiated with carbon ion at doses of 9 Gy (20 keV/μm, 290 MeV/u, accelerated by Heavy-Ion Medical Accelerator in Chiba synchrotron at National Institute of Radiological Sciences, Japan). After carbon-ion irradiation, the concentration of Tau significantly decreased with time. Tau, a sulfur-containing amino acid-related compound, has been reported to have a radioprotective effect. Therefore, the decrease in Tau concentration was inferred to be a decrease in radioprotective ability in the mouse’s intestine. On the contrary, the concentration of Glu significantly increased with time dependence by the irradiation. These results suggested that the increase in glutamate concentration after irradiation induces the activation of NMDA receptors; thus, radiation-induced intestinal injuries could be suppressed by NMDA receptor antagonists as radioprotective agents after carbon-ion irradiation.
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Radiochemistry

VALENCE DISTRIBUTION OF As-76 ATOMS IN ARSENIC THIOCOMPOUNDS IRRADIATED WITH NEUTRONS

Héctor D. Colmán, J. F. Facetti Masulli

Pages: 20-23

DOI: 10.37392/RapProc.2023.05

The distribution of the valence states III and V of radioactive 76As after neutron irradiations of thioarsenic compounds has been investigated. The irradiated compounds were thioarsenites as well as sodium thioarsenate; fresh precipitated arsenic trisulfide was also investigated. Materials were irradiated with neutrons at a flux of 1012 n cm-2 s-1. The radioisotope formed by (n, γ) reaction is 76As with T1/2= 26.4h. Separations of valence states were performed by high voltage electrophoresis at a gradient of 35V cm-1 on 3MM Whatmann paper. Radiochemical yield of As(V)in the hydrated thioarsenites was very high but when dehydrated thioarsenite is irradiated, the yield of the radioactive As(V) was much lower and similar to that obtained in the irradiated disordered trisulfide. On irradiated thioarsenate the retention was also very high. These yields are like those found in the previous work on irradiating As sulfides and it seems to be related to the covalent character of the As-S bond; likewise, internal conversion accounts for the primary oxidation of recoil atoms.
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Radioecology

NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL RADIONUCLIDES IN WOOD BIOMASS USED FOR HEATING – COMPARISON OF NORTH-EAST ITALY AND IMPORTED WOOD PELLETS

Chiara Cantaluppi, Beatrice Morelli, Raffaele Cavalli, Rosa Greco, Nicolò Pradel

Pages: 24-30

DOI: 10.37392/RapProc.2023.06

The problem of radionuclides contamination in imported wood pellet, used for industrial and domestic heating, emerged for the first time in Italy in June 2009 in a batch from Lithuania, in which a concentration of 137Cs of about 300 Bq/kg was measured, increased to about 40000 Bq/kg after burning. The radioactive fall-out due to the Chernobyl accident (26 April 1986), that deposited over extensive areas of central and northern Europe, affected also areas exploited for agroforestry and forestry resources. The soil contamination occurred almost like “leopard spot” and so in a heterogeneous way also at thousand kilometres away from the Chernobyl site. The eventual radioactive contamination currently present in woody biomasses is almost due to 137Cs radionuclide, which has a half-life of about 30 years and therefore (depending on the contamination of the investigated area) still potentially present in variable quantities in soils and vegetation. The biomass represented by pellet and wood chips are nowadays of a great importance due to its extreme thermal efficiency, its cheapness and its relative low environmental impact in terms of carbon dioxide emissions; the major problem involved in this biomass, in the Italian context, is represented by the fact that the demand for pellets is much greater than the territorial possibility of self-production, therefore there is the need to import this resource from external countries and thus with potentially non-negligible levels of radioactivity. This work, conducted at ICMATE-CNR in Padua, aimed to investigate the activity concentration of 137Cs, 40K and other radionuclides possibly present in 27 samples of forest chips (woody flour mainly produced by Picea abies species) from the autonomous province of Trento and the ashes produced by the same samples burned in similar to domestic combustion conditions (pellet stove at about 550° C). The taken samples were subsequently analysed by high-resolution gamma spectrometry in order to evaluate the activity concentration of 137Cs and of the natural 40K, first in the “fresh” samples of forest chips and afterwards in the same samples incinerated after their pelletization, with the aim of comparing the amount of radionuclides of the former with respect to the latter and to determine the concentration factor. The extensive sampling to the whole province allowed to have a reliable and composite map of distribution of 137Cs radioactivity in the wooded areas on the surface of the Trento province. 134Cs had been also searched for, but it was below the instrumental limits of detection in all the samples. Results thus obtained were then compared and evaluated with respect both to dataset previously obtained from the same ICMATE-CNR laboratory consisting of 65 pellet samples from different areas of Eastern Europe (Bosnia, Croatia, Ukraine, Serbia and Russia) analysed in 2010-2011; and with respect to literature data relating to woody biomass for combustion of European and non-European origin.
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Radiobiology

PHOTO-INDUCED NEUTROPHIL EXTRACELLULAR TRAPS: THE ROLE OF CYTOCHROMES

Kahramon Mamatkulov, Anka Jevremović, Darya Zakrytnaya, Yersultan Arynbek, Nina Vorobjeva, Grigory Arzumanyan

Pages: 31-35

DOI: 10.37392/RapProc.2023.07

In this study, we aimed to investigate the impact of radiation across a wide range of wavelengths, from UV-A to red visible light, on the role of neutrophils in inflammatory, autoimmune, and oncological diseases. Our focus was on understanding the photoacceptance process involving two cytochromes: cytochrome_b558 and cytochrome_c oxidase. Through the utilization of Raman spectroscopy, we recorded characteristic Raman frequencies corresponding to various reactive oxygen species (ROS) and low-frequency lattice vibrational modes for citrulline. By employing selective inhibitors of NADPH oxidase (apocynin) and PAD4 (GSK484), we were able to establish that when neutrophils are exposed to light of different wavelengths, it activates signaling pathways that lead to the formation of NETs (neutrophil extracellular traps) through the involvement of NADPH oxidase and PAD4. During the irradiation of neutrophils, we observed distinct peaks indicating the presence of ROS and citrulline, suggesting the participation of intracellular ROS during light exposure. Development of novel drugs aimed at suppressing NETs formation could potentially inhibit NET formation at sites exposed to UV and visible light. This could result in a reduction in symptoms related to UV-induced photoaging and other forms of organ damage.
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Pharmaceutical Sciences

VACCINE PROPHYLAXIS AS THE KEY TO SUCCESS AGAINST POLIOMIELYTIS

Jasmina Jovanović Mirković , Milica Stanojević, Christos Alexopoulos, Bojana Miljković, Marko Jovanović, Dragana Đorđević Šopalović

Pages: 36-39

DOI: 10.37392/RapProc.2023.08

Poliomyelitis (lat. acute anterior poliomyelitis, Henne-Medin’s disease) is an acute infectious disease caused by Poliovirus (types 1, 2 and 3). The disease most often occurs in childhood, either individually or in epidemics. The routes of transmission of the infection are the oral-fecal route. The infection can occur without any symptoms or as a general infection, such as meningitis or paralysis. The clinical picture of the disease shows the appearance of several stages: the pre-lytic stage, the paralysis stage and the recovery stage. The fastest way to confirm the diagnosis is to prove viral RNA by PCR in stool, blood or cerebrospinal fluid. There are also serological neutralization tests. During the acute phase, symptomatic and supportive therapy is carried out, and after the acute phase, active physical therapy and rehabilitation are carried out in more severe forms of the disease. Today, this disease is very rare, thanks to systemic active immunization. Primary immunization against poliomyelits (polio) is in the first year of life with three doses of pentavalent Pentaxim vaccine, six weeks apart, and revaccinations are carried out according to the mandatory vaccination calendar in the second, seventh and fourteenth years of life. The vaccine given in multiple doses provides protection throughout life. The aim of this paper is to compare the results of successfully implemented vaccine prophylaxis at the level of primary health care for the territory of the Pomoravlje District in Serbia in the period from 2008-2012. Results and discussion. Based on the Report on Immunization against Poliomyelitis in the Pomoravlje District in the period 01.01.2011 - 31.12.2011, it was noted that by far the largest number of persons vaccinated with the OPV vaccine was in the municipalities of Despotovac, Paracin, Rekovac and Svilajnac, where the percentage of those vaccinated was 100%. Based on the data, it can be seen that the smallest response of children was in the territory of the municipality of Cuprija (81.36%). Statistical data processing in the SPSS Statistics 20 showed that the third revaccination carried out at the age of 14 has a statistical significance of p<0.05, χ2=14.02 at the level of the city of Despotovac for the calendar year 2012. compared to the five-year period from 2008-2012. Conclusion. Based on the statistically processed results, a high level of coverage and high success rate of the implemented vaccination for the five-year period from 2008-2012 was observed for the territory of the Pomoravlje District. The key to success in the fight against infectious diseases is reflected in the implementation of mandatory immunizations according to the vaccination calendar prescribed by each country and is considered one of the best ways to reduce morbidity, eliminate, even eradicate infectious diseases.
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Novelties in Covid-19 research

MONITORING THE CONSUMPTION OF DRUGS BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Violeta Ilić Todorović, Jasmina Jovanović Mirković, Christos Alexopoulos, Momčilo Todorović, Nemanja Nenezić, Zorica Kaluđerović

Pages: 40-44

DOI: 10.37392/RapProc.2023.09

In addition to the traditional role of pharmacists in the preparation, distribution and dispensing of medicines, today pharmacists represent an important link in the health system with their active participation in health promotion and prevention of many diseases. There are a number of educational activities of pharmacists aimed at familiarizing the population with the importance of a healthy lifestyle and risk factors for the development of diseases. Self-medication is defined as the application of drugs for the treatment of symptoms and diseases that the patient himself recognizes. Self-medication is the primary resource of any healthcare system. However, only with adequate, professional advice from pharmacists, who can identify, prevent and solve problems related to self-medication, an optimal and safe outcome of therapy can be achieved, as well as improving the quality of life of patients. The aim and tasks of the research work. Monitoring the consumption of the following OTC preparations: zinc, selenium, vitamins C and D, Paracetamol, Naphazoline, Xylometazoline and Ibuprofen (of 200, 400, 600 mg) immediately before the COVID-19 pandemic, during the COVID-19 pandemic and immediately after. Methodology of the research work. A cross-sectional study was applied before the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic and after the COVID-19 pandemic. The data source was the electronic prescription database (POINTER 2023) of the “Zdravlje 1” pharmacy in Despotovac. The study lasted 4 years (from 01.01.2019 to 31.12.2022). The data were calculated in the SPSS statistics 20 program package and are presented graphically. Results and discussion. By far the highest consumption is for Ibuprofen 400 mg, followed by Ibuprofen 600 mg, while the lowest consumption for the four-year period from 2019-2022 was for Ibuprofen 200 mg. Observed for each year individually, it was noted that the use of Ibuprofen 200 mg during the outbreak of COVID-19 (2020) showed a drastic increase, five times higher values on an annual basis compared to the time period before and after the occurrence of COVID-19. Conclusion. Taking into account the four-year period of supplementation with zinc, selenium, vitamin D and C also shows an increase in the consumption and use of these supplements for the time period of 2020 and 2021, so that in 2022 there will be a reduction in the use and sale of these OTC preparations.
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Pharmaceutical Sciences

HEALTH EDUCATION OF THE POPULATION ABOUT THE PREVENTION POSSIBILITIES OF HPV INFECTION

Milica Stanojević, Jasmina Jovanović Mirković, Nataša Rančić, Christos Alexopoulos, Violeta Ilić Todorović, Svetlana Čapaković

Pages: 45-49

DOI: 10.37392/RapProc.2023.10

Introduction. Human papillomaviruses (Human Papillomavirus-HPV) are DNA viruses, belonging to the family Papillomaviridae, genus Papillomavirus. It is estimated that at least 80%-100% of people between the ages of 18-25 come into contact with this virus during sexual contact, while only about 30% of people develop symptoms of infection. Chronic HPV infection increases the risk of cervical cancer by 65 times, and in the case of oncogenic “high-risk” types by 130 times (HPV 16, HPV 18, HPV 31, HPV 35), namely cancer of the cervix, vulva and vagina in women, genital organs in men, as well as throat and anus cancer in both sexes. CIN within the framework of HPV infection and pathogenesis can be viewed as a productive infection (replicative) that is most often transient and spontaneously regresses (viral phase) and transformational with the development of dysplasia in a smaller number of HPV-infection-related lesions (neoplastic phase). As a preventive measure, there are vaccines against HPV (Gardasil, Gardasil 9 and Cervarix), which are not mandatory according to the vaccination calendar and contribute to preventing the development of HPV infection, and are particularly effective in the fight against HPV types 16 and 18, which in most cases cause cervical cancer. The aim of this work is to compare the obtained data on the optional Gardasil 9 vaccination carried out on the territory of Pomoravlje and Pcinja districts in Serbia in the year 2022. Methodology of the research work. A descriptive study was applied in this research paper. A special database was created for data entry in the time interval in year 2022. The data were calculated in the SPSS Statistics 20 software package. The data were presented graphically. Results and discussion. Based on statistically processed data, it can be seen that in the south of Serbia, out of the total number of distributed vaccines, which was 253 vaccines for the Pcinja district, 86 vaccines (33.99%) were administered. Comparing the data with the Pomoravlje district, there is a significant difference in the number of distributed (769) and the number of applied vaccines (408), which indicates that 53.06% of the distributed doses were applied for the period from June 2022 by the end of the same year. Statistical processing of the obtained data showed that the Gardasil 9 vaccination with the first and second doses of the vaccine in persons older than 9 years and persons older than 15 years was best carried out in 2022 in the Pomoravlje District in the cities of Jagodina (59.41%) and Svilajnac (54.02%), and the smallest in the cities of Rekovac (35, 71%) and Cuprija (40.35%). While the least was implemented in the territory of the Pcinja District in 2022 were in the cities: Bosilegrad, Presevo and Trgoviste based on distributed doses and remaining unused vaccines (stock). The highest response for optional free vaccination was in the cities of Surdulica (66.675%), Bujanovac (39.58%) and Vranje (36.36%) in Pcinja District. Conclusion. By comparing the statistical data, it can be concluded that the success rate of vaccination is significantly higher in central Serbia, in the territory of the Pomoravlje District (53.06%), than in the south of Serbia, in the territory of the Pcinja District (33.99%). Through educational lectures on vaccination against HPVirus, children, adults and the entire population acquire positive attitudes about prevention as one of the most effective methods in suppressing and spreading the said disease.
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Pharmaceutical Sciences

THE IMPORTANCE OF IMMUNIZATION AS A PREVENTIVE MEASURE IN THE FIGHT AGAINST TUBERCULOSIS

Jasmina Jovanović Mirković , Violeta Ilić Todorović, Christos Alexopoulos, Bojana Miljković, Dragana Đorđević Šopalović, Zorica Kaluđerović

Pages: 50-53

DOI: 10.37392/RapProc.2023.11

Introduction. Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious granulomatous disease caused by the human type of bacillus Mycobacterium tuberculosis. TB infection begins when mycobacteria reach the pulmonary alveoli, where they penetrate and replicate within the endosomes of alveolar macrophages. Bacilli in the alveoli are phagocytosed by alveolar macrophages, where they multiply and spread to regional lymph glands and through the bloodstream to distant organs (miliary tuberculosis). A scar and a cavern filled with caseous necrotic material are created at the site of the affected tissue. The treatment is carried out with a combination of several drugs, most often with the joint use of rifampicin, isoniazid and pyrazinamide, and lasts six months and continues for three months after Koch’s bacillus is not found in the sputum culture. The BCG vaccine is intended for the active immunization of all newborns and high-risk children in order to prevent severe clinical forms of tuberculosis, as well as for the active immunization of adults with a high risk of developing tuberculosis. The aim of the research work is the comparison and interpretation of statistically processed data on the success of vaccination against TB on the territory of the Pomoravlje District for the period from 2008-2012. A descriptive study was applied in this research paper. The data were calculated in the SPSS statistics 20 software package. Results and discussion. Taking into account the total number of live births (1818) in relation to the number of vaccinated (1775) on the territory of the Pomoravlje District for the calendar year 2008, it is concluded that vaccination was successfully carried out for the specified year on the territory of one district because it amounted to 97.64% (it is greater than 95%). The percentage at the level of the entire district in 2009 is 97.34%, which indicates that immunization with the BCG vaccine was successfully implemented. Conclusion. Based on the statistically processed results, a high level of coverage and high success rate of the implemented vaccination for the five-year period from 2008-2012 was observed for the territory of the Pomoravlje District. It is very important to emphasize the essential measures that should be taken in every country of the world with the aim of developing and implementing national programs for the prevention, control and treatment of this disease.
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Radon and Thoron

ANOMALOUS RADON EMISSION AS PRE-SIGNAL OF MODERATE TO STRONG EARTHQUAKES IN VRANCEA GEOTECTONIC ACTIVE REGION IN ROMANIA

Dan Savastru, Maria Zoran, Roxana Savastru, Marina Tautan

Pages: 54-59

DOI: 10.37392/RapProc.2023.12

As a potential precursor of earthquakes, this study aims to investigate temporal variations of radon (222Rn) concentration levels in air near the ground by the use of solid-state nuclear track detectors (SSNTD) CR-39 (short term-10 days exposure time) in relation with some important seismic events recorded in Vrancea geotectonic active region, in Romania. The experimental observations reveal a strong correlation between the recorded radon emissions peaks associated with some moderate earthquakes of moment magnitude Mw ≥ 5.0 recorded during 2012-2022 period. The standard deviation of the radon measurements (s) was about 10% of the average radon concentration. The recorded pre-signals radon anomalies of earthquakes during eleven years monitoring period performed with solid state nuclear track detectors CR-39 suggest that earthquake precursors registered before moderate or strong seismic events are associated with some physical processes in or near the Vrancea earthquake fault zones or its neighbouring. This paper considered also the effects of meteorological parameters (air temperature, pressure, relative humidity, wind intensity and rainfall) on radon in air near the ground concentrations. The present results show existence of coupling between lithosphere-surfacesphere-atmosphere-ionosphere associated with preparation and seismic event occurring. Continuously monitoring of radon concentration anomalies in air near the ground in relation with Vrancea seismicity is an important issue and a surveillance tool in the field of earthquake hazard for Romania.
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Radiation Detectors

IMAGE QUALITY IMPACT OF DIFFERENT PHOSPHOR ACTIVATOR MATERIALS IN Gd2O2S BASED EPID SYSTEMS

Marios K. Tzomakas, Vasiliki Peppa, Antigoni Alexiou, Georgios Karakatsanis, Anastasios Episkopakis, Christos Michail, Ioannis Valais, George Fountos, Ioannis S. Kandarakis, Nektarios Kalyvas

Pages: 60-64

DOI: 10.37392/RapProc.2023.13

In this work, the effect of the scintillator on EPIDs signal transfer properties was examined. Modulation Transfer Function, Signal Power Spectrum and Light Output were assessed by analytical models while radiation incidence was estimated by Monte Carlo techniques. The frequency dependent Contrast Transfer Function (CTF) of a Gd2O2 S:Tb based EPID system was experimentally determined by imaging the QC3 phantom in an iViewGT™ R3.4.1 MV Portal Imaging system for 6MV, 2MU and 400 DR irradiation conditions. In addition, an approximation of experimental MTF was determined. The Eu activator showed the highest light output per incident photon. A more detailed study should include the effect of scatter on MTF and the determination of the experimental MTF through CTF.
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Radiation Protection

A CONTRIBUTION TO THE CURRENT DEBATE ABOUT THE ADEQUACY OF THE LINEAR-NO-THRESHOLD (LNT) MODEL FOR THE RISK RESULTING FROM RADON EXPOSURE

J. Elío, M. Janik, P. Bossew

Pages: 65-74

DOI: 10.37392/RapProc.2023.14

The Linear-No Threshold Hypothesis (LNT) states that risk from ionizing radiation is linearly related to dose with no dose threshold below which there was no risk. The LNT is an important fundament in practical radioprotection and for assessment of population risk, e.g., of estimating lung cancer risk or incidence attributable to exposure to indoor radon. The popularity of the LNT stems largely from its mathematical simplicity and therefore, its practicability. It seems that this has obscured the question of whether it is physically true, or “only” a useful practical rule. Distribution of exposure and dose to radon through the population is strongly right-skew, with the bulk of dose low. Therefore, attribution of risk, i.e., mainly lung cancer incidence, depends strongly on the risk model for low dose. As long as no micro-dosimetric model exists which causally relates incident radiation flux or exposure to radon progeny to a sequence of effects, starting on sub-cellular level, which results in clinical evidence, it is impossible to make statements on the effect of very low doses, since it is in principle impossible to extend empirical epidemiological inference to arbitrarily small doses. Therefore, epidemiological findings are extrapolated towards low doses. The most quoted large-scale epidemiological radon meta-study is Darby et al. (2006), which concludes that the LNT model is statistically compatible with the findings. This has been essentially corroborated by newer studies. However, with availability or more data, there seems to be increasing evidence that the model may not be applicable to estimate risk for low doses, which represent the bulk of exposure, if the objective is assessment of population risk. We review literature about the strongly debated question about validity of the LNT. Data are not publicly available, therefore statistical re-analysis is impossible. However, published information in the form of graphs and statistics allows some hypotheses alternative to the LNT. The debate is so serious because of the political consequences regarding radon abatement policy. We refrain from stating any “alternative truth” but investigate the possible consequences for risk assessment and what they entail for radon regulation and policy, resulting from different risk models.
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Radiotherapy

EVALUATION OF DOSIMETRIC PLAN QUALITY FOR GLIOBLASTOMA TREATED WITH 3D CONFORMAL RADIOTHERAPY

Irena Muçollari, Aurora Cangu, Anastela Mano, Gramoz Braçe, Artur Xhumari, Jetmira Kerxhaliu, Blerina Myzeqari

Pages: 75-78

DOI: 10.37392/RapProc.2023.15

Glioblastoma is classified as grade- IV glioma of primary brain tumors, and is faced more often in adult patients. The standard approach to therapy in the newly diagnosed glioblastoma, includes surgery followed by concurrent radiotherapy with chemotherapy. The aim of this study is retrospectively to analyze dosimetric treatment plan quality for patients treated for glioblastoma in our clinic using 3D-conformal radiotherapy. Radiotherapy treatment plans are realized by combining 3 to 6 coplanar and non- coplanar fields, open or wedged, achieving dose coverage, dose homogeneity to tumor within recommendations, while minimizing dose at organs at risk.
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Radiation Detectors

NOVEL DIAMOND DETECTOR DEVELOPMENT FOR HARSH NEUTRON FLUX ENVIRONMENTS

K. Kaperoni, M. Diakaki, C. Weiss, M. Bacak, E. Griesmayer, J. Melbinger, M. Kokkoris, M. Axiotis, S. Chasapoglou, R. Vlastou, and the n_TOF collaboration

Pages: 79-83

DOI: 10.37392/RapProc.2023.16

Diamond is considered one of the most promising materials for neutron reaction studies and neutron fluence measurements. A newly built diamond detector and associated electronics were developed by the CIVIDEC Instrumentation for in-beam neutron measurements in harsh environmental conditions (high instantaneous neutron flux, high gamma-ray background, etc). Various tests were performed to determine the detector’s response to neutron environments including a measurement at NCSR “Demokritos” with monoenergetic neutron beams and a corresponding one at the newly built experimental area NEAR station at the n_TOF facility at CERN. The preliminary results of the tests for the development of this novel detection system will be presented and discussed.
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Aerosol Radioactivity

CHARACTERIZATION OF AIRBORNE RADIOACTIVITY IN URBAN KUWAIT: ACTIVITY CONCENTRATION OF SELECTED RADIONUCLIDES

Anfal Ismaeel, Abdulaziz Aba, Abdullah Al-Dabbous, Mariam Malak, Aishah Al-Boloushi, Hanadi Al-Shammari, Omar Al-Boloushi

Pages: 84-87

DOI: 10.37392/RapProc.2023.17

High-volume air samples (approximately 1800 m3) were collected from three residential areas in Kuwait with different surrounding activities (Al-Jahra, Rumaithiya, and Ahmadi) using high-volume air samplers connected to a three-stage cascade impactor. Sampling duration was three days, and the samples were collected weekly over a period of one year. Low background gamma spectrometry and chemical separation methods were used to determine the concentrations of 7Be,40K, 210Pb, and 210Po in three particle sizes: 0.41 to 0.73 μm, 0.73 to 2.4 μm, and 2.4 to 10.2 μm. Results indicated that most of the activity was concentrated on the fine particle size fractions, except for 40K, which suggests the influence of local dust sources. The activity concentration values of 210Pb, 7Be, and 40K were consistent across all cities, while the 210Po activity concentration was lower in the Al-Jahra area. Also, the ratios of 210Po/210Pb activity concentrations differ across locations; they were higher in the Ahmadi and Rumaithiya areas compared to Al-Jahra.
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Radiation Measurements

ACTIVITY DETERMINATION OF A 137Cs RADIOACTIVE SOURCE OBTAINED FROM AN OIL-WELLING STUDY IN ALBANIA

Dritan Prifti, Kozeta Tushe, Brunilda Daci, Elida Bylyku

Pages: 88-91

DOI: 10.37392/RapProc.2023.18

Institute of Applied Nuclear Physics (IANP) is responsible for the safe and secure management of radioactive waste and DSRS at the National level. IANP collaborates with different institutions and private companies for the safe storage and transport of radioactive materials. This study describes the procedure followed to evaluate the total activity of two radioactive sources of unknown activity. During 2018, IANP received in the National Radioactive Waste Storage Facility 5 DSRS from geophysical service center in Fier, Albania due to the closure of their temporary storage facility. Based on the data of radioactive sources from their certificates that IANP possesses, and the measurements carried out on site of these sources, it turned out that the sources were two 241Am-Be of 5 Ci initial activity each and one 137Cs of initial activity 300mCi in separate containers each and two 137Cs of initial activity 52mCi and 51mCi each, into one container. the two 137Cs sources of activity 52mCi and 51mCi each (reference date July 1978), were supposed to be together in one container, and we needed to verify that they were both into one capsule. We estimated the activity of the source using the geometry of a point source. By making a comparison with the actual activity calculated on the basis of the certificate of these sources it resulted that the activity calculated on the basis of the measurements performed was 1.418 GBq, which was approximate to that calculated on the basis of the certificate 1.528 GBq in March 2018 and, finally, we confirmed that the last two 137Cs sources were in the same capsule. Then all sources were transferred to the National Radioactive Waste Storage Facility in Tirana.
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Environmental Chemistry

CONCENTRATION OF SELECTED RADIONUCLIDES IN HIGH DUST DEPOSITION AREA: CONSIDERATION OF DEPLETED URANIUM

Abdulaziz Aba, Omar Al-Boloushi, Anfal Ismaeel

Pages: 91-96

DOI: 10.37392/RapProc.2023.19

Fallen dust samples from ten Northern Arabian Gulf locations were analyzed for natural radionuclides and 137Cs using ultra-low background gamma spectrometry. A dust trap of 20 cm diameter collected the samples from ten sites in Kuwait, enabling the determination of radionuclide concentrations. Direct measurement of 234Th estimated 238 U, while the 235U concentration was calculated using the sum peak of 226Ra and 235U of 186 keV gamma line. The calculation of the uranium activity ratio showed that the sample contained natural levels of uranium isotopes. The average concentration of various radionuclides demonstrated significant variation. The median concentrations of7Be, 137Cs, 210Pb, 40K, 224 Ra, 226Ra, 228Ra and 234Th were 1113 ± 148, 11.7 ± 0.6, 434 ± 27, 357 ± 6, 23.4 ± 1.7, 20.2 ± 1.5, 12 ± 2 and 44 ± 1.8 mBq g-1respectively. The measured activity ratios of 137Cs/40K and 7Be/210Pb confirmed the effects of the regional dust sources.
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Nuclear Forensics

RESEARCH ACTIVITIES AT THE POLICE ACADEMY OF THE CZECH REPUBLIC IN PRAGUE ASSOCIATED WITH THE DETECTION AND ELIMINATION OF CBRN AND OTHER DANGEROUS MATERIAL THREATS

Jozef Sabol

Pages: 97-99

DOI: 10.37392/RapProc.2023.20

The problems of potential threats of individual CBRN agents, which include chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear dangerous materials, are currently widely discussed. There are always some facilities and installations that are found where CBRN agents were used or stored during military operations which have been damaged or destroyed. As a result of such a situation, some of these agents were lost and went out of control. It is, therefore, essential to detect and identify these dangerous substances to control them and thus minimise their consequences on the local population's health. The principle for all CBRN agents is the same: to locate them, fix them in appropriate containers and store them in a secured place where they should be controlled. The paper summarises some research activities at the Police Academy of the Czech Republic (PA CR) explicitly aimed at areas related to radiological and nuclear components of the CBRN family.
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    (Application of radiation methods for the detection and identification of CBRNE materials, Project no. VI20192022171, Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic, Prague, Czech Republic, 2019-2022.)
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Environmental Chemistry

PREVIOUS STUDIES BEFORE AND AFTER IMPOUNDMENT ON RIGHT BANK OF ITAIPU DAM RESERVOIR

Juan F. Facetti Masulli, Cesar Taboada

Pages: 100-105

DOI: 10.37392/RapProc.2023.21

Building up by Paraguay and Brazil on Alto Parana River (APR), the reservoir covers in area 1440 km2 . Its impoundment of the right bank, Paraguayan side, flooded about 570km2 of vegetation, mainly of height and lower forest, crops and soil. Prior to the impoundment Itaipu Binacional conducted a large number of environmental studies, some of them in reference of the chemical effects of the biomass (BM) on water quality such us phosphorus supply and reduction of dissolved oxygen (DO) concentration, inter alia. In the latter, simulation experiment provides interesting data. This submersion/ incubation experiment on DO consumption were carried out with appropriate amounts of BM samples and APR water, in which DO were determined. Through the oxygen consumption decay curves and their kinetic analysis of the oxidation of the BM, they were found, fast processes with a high oxygen avidity, as well as others slower, with a relative low oxygen consumption, following both, e-ln2t/T kinetic; the former, of the order of days, are due to the oxidation of soft parts of the plants, like lives, shoots, petioles and twigs, while the latter, of the order of years are resultant to the hard parts, like trunks, logs, etc. The phosphorus supply by decaying vegetation at the right bank, was low in comparison to the amount carried by the APR. In addition, the low residence time of water in the reservoir allows fast DO input renovations.
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Radiation Measurements

LOW GAIN AVALANCHE DETECTORS FOR PROTON-CT

Gregor Kramberger

Pages: 106-110

DOI: 10.37392/RapProc.2023.22

With increasing number of hadron therapy centres the need for proton-CT as a powerful imaging technique is growing. Although a number of experimental p-CT has been developed there is no clinical p-CT yet. The imaging technique is based on measuring entry and exit point of the proton from the tissue as well as the residual energy of the proton. The latter is very demanding in terms of high particle rates and required resolution. The p-CT concept using novel Low Gain Avalanche Detectors (LGADs) will be described where three layers of LGAD timing detectors are used to measure the proton track and its energy. The measurement of proton energy which is vital for image reconstruction (density of electrons) is obtained from time-of-flight measurements rather than conventional scintillator-based calorimeter. The first-time resolution measurements with very thin (35 µm) LGADs and GEANT4 simulations of the p-CT performance are presented.
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Radiation Protection

EVALUATION OF THE PRIMARY QUALITY CONTROL PARAMETERS ON DIAGNOSTIC RADIOGRAPHIC EQUIPMENT IN GOVERNMENTAL AND PRIVATE HEALTHCARE INSTITUTIONS IN ALBANIA

Luljeta Disha, Manjola Shyti

Pages: 111-115

DOI: 10.37392/RapProc.2023.23

During the last decade many European countries have applied and regulated through state legislation quality control (QC) program in diagnostic radiology. Such a program forms an essential part of dose effective radiological practice and should be implemented in every x-ray medical equipment. Implementation of QC tests on diagnostic radiographic equipment can ensure the optimal status of imaging systems, providing in this way high-quality images. QC of radiological medical devices in Albania is applicated since 2015, every three years. QC techniques used to test the components of the radiological system and verify that the equipment is operating satisfactorily are performed from the Institute of Applied Nuclear Physics and all the instruments used for performing these measurements are sponsored by the International Atomic Energy Agency. The aim of this study was to investigate the status of 8 randomly selected X-ray generators used in radiology centers of 6 different cities in Albania during the 2021-2022 period. This study presents only the primary QC parameters: kilovoltage (kVp) accuracy and reproducibility, kVp variation with change of mA, exposure time accuracy and reproducibility, tube output and reproducibility, tube output variation with change in indicated tube current - exposure time product (mAs) and filtration (half value layer). All measurements were performed using Radcal (AGMS-DM+) solid-state multi sensor, plugged into its appropriate (Accu-Gold+) digitizer module. This detector was placed on the radiographic tabletop along with the central axis of the X-ray beam at the focus to detector distance of 100 cm. Based on the findings, this study showed clearly that all the radiographic devices, subject of routine quality control tests were in a very good compliance with the acceptable criteria. Specifically, for the primary QC parameters tests, kVp accuracy was between 1.4 - 5%, kVp reproducibility was between 1-3.1%, kVp variation with change of mA was between 1.4 - 5.4 %, time accuracy and reproducibility was between 0 - 6.6%, tube output value with a total filtration 2.5 mm Al at 100 cm for true 80 kV operation was between 26.1 - 60µGy/mAs, tube output reproducibility was between 0 – 2.5%, tube output variation with change of mAs product was between 1 - 18% and filtration at 70 kV was between 2.6 – 3.9 mm Al. Results of this study showed that, even though radiological devices in Albania are relatively old with high workload, especially during the last years, all the devices met the standard criteria.
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Food Irradiation

IMPACT OF 1 MeV ACCELERATED ELECTRONS ON GROWTH AND SURVIVAL RATE OF ESCHERICHIA COLI BACTERIA AND ASPERGILLUS FUMIGATUS FUNGUS

U. Bliznyuk, P. Borshchegovskaya, A. Chernyaev, V. Ivantsova, V. Ipatova, Z. Nikitina, E. Nasibov, D. Yurov, I. Rodin

Pages: 116-120

DOI: 10.37392/RapProc.2023.24

A study was carried out on the effect of 1 MeV accelerated electrons on the survival rate of suspensions of Escherichia coli bacteria and suspensions of Aspergillus fumigatus fungi at various initial concentrations and followed by plating on various nutrient media after irradiation. The samples were irradiated in the dose range from 0.15 kGy to 4 kGy. It was established that the concentrations of viable bacterial and fungal cells decreased nonlinearly with radiation dose. The doses required to reduce populations by a factor of 10 ranged from 0.20 kGy to 0.56 kGy for Escherichia coli at initial concentrations of 103 CFU/g to 105 CFU/g when plated on agar Thioglycollate medium; 1.28 kGy and 1.23 kGy for Aspergillus fumigatus at an initial concentration of 106 CFU/g when plated on Sabouraud medium and Modified Czapek-Dox medium, respectively.
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Radiation Measurements

EVALUATION OF PROFICIENCY TEST RESULTS OF GAMMA RAY SPECTROMETRY IN DETERMINATION OF ANTHROPOGENIC AND NATURAL RADIONUCLIDES

Manjola Shyti, Erjon Spahiu

Pages: 121-124

DOI: 10.37392/RapProc.2023.25

This paper aims to evaluate the performance of gamma-ray spectrometry in the Institute of Applied Nuclear Physics (IANP), Albania using Proficiency Tests (PTs). Participation in different proficiency tests is an essential tool for the improvement and testing of High Purity Germanium detector (HPGe) performance. The gamma - ray spectrometry laboratory in the last years has participated in different worldwide open proficiency tests organized by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) with satisfactory results. For this paper, we selected the proficiency test organized by the IAEA in 2020 due to the analytical challenge of recognizing radioactive disequilibrium and applying appropriate decay corrections, especially for ingrowing radionuclides of broken natural decay series. The PTs of gamma-ray spectrometry measurements are carried out to improve the laboratory’s ability to measure the radioactivity in the environment and foodstuffs at typical routine levels. The activity concentration of the test samples and the evaluation of the associated uncertainties are the main requirements of the test results. This PT was focused on the determination of anthropogenic and natural radionuclides in water, fish, and simulated aerosol filter samples. For this proficiency test, the Laboratory Sourceless Calibration Software (LabSOCS) is used for simulating the absolute efficiency curve. This paper presents the results and discusses the quality of the gamma spectrometry measurements performed in the IANP. The overall performance evaluation showed that 100 % of all reported results have been acceptable. Thus, the gamma-ray spectrometry using an HPGe detector showed high performance in the determination of anthropogenic and natural radionuclides in water, fish and simulated aerosol filter samples.
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Radiation Measurements

Measurements of 232Th/238U ratio using different techniques: A comparative study

W. Arafa, H. M. Mahmoud, E. Yousf, A. Ashry, A. Elsersy, I. Elaassy, H. El Samman

Pages: 125-130

DOI: 10.37392/RapProc.2023.26

The present work was conducted to determine Th/U ratios in different types of natural rock samples (sedimentary, conglomerate, igneous and sediments) using high-purity germanium detector, solid state nuclear track detectors and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometers. A thin source approach method for alpha tracks measurements was used. A new method was introduced for forming a thin layer of the rock sample. The track densities were obtained using an optical microscope coupled with a digital camera and spark counter. Even though the measurements were carried out using very different techniques, they showed comparable values of Th/U ratio for most of the rock samples.
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