Amy C. Hall

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering


Department of Engineering Physics

First Advisor

James E. Bevins, PhD


The GE PETtrace 800 Series cyclotron at the Missouri University Research Reactor (MURR) facility is used extensively for medical and research radioisotope production. However, no model exists of its radioisotope production performance, and the energy, full intensity, and spatial profile of the cyclotron proton beam has never been measured. To improve production planning for research and medical isotopes, a MCNP6 model of the isotope production process was developed to maximize efficiency in target design and better understand irradiation conditions. Since the cyclotron beam energy and profile has a significant impact on the types of reactions that take place and the efficiency of radioisotope production, the MURR cyclotron proton beam energy was measured via activation of a high-purity copper foil stack. Phosphor plate imaging was used to radiographically image the foil stacks in order to characterize the beam’s spatial and intensity profile. The measured beam characteristics were used to define the source for a MCNP6 model of the production of 11C, an important research radioisotope used for medical and plant research. The model was compared to experimental 11C production data obtained using ion chamber measurements of 11C production cycles at varying beam currents. Finally, the 11C production target model was used to analyze inefficiencies present in the current design and operating characteristics.

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