L-α-Alanine, a nontoxic polycrystalline amino acid, has been investigated for use in high-precision, high-level absorbed-dose measurements in mixed neutron/photon environments such as research and test reactors. The technique is based on the use of electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy to determine the extent of free radical production in a sample exposed to ionizing radiation, and has been successfully used for photon absorbed-dose measurements at levels exceeding 105 Gy with high measurement precision. Application of the technique to mixed environments requires knowledge of the energy-dependent response of the dosimeter for both photons and neutrons. Determination of the dosimeter response to photons is accomplished by irradiations in 60Co and bremsstrahlung sources and by calculations of energy-dependent photon kerma. Neutron response is determined by irradiations in conjunction with CaF2:Mn thermoluminescence dosimeters and by calculations of energy-dependent neutron kerma. Several neutron environments are used, including the ACRR and SPR-III reactors.
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