Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering

NRE 8011/8012 and MP 6011/6012 Seminar

Nuclear & Radiological Engineering and Medical Physics Programs


A New Single-Crystal Filtered Beamline for Neutron Capture Therapy Research


Dr. David Nigg


Idaho National Laboratory


Thursday, October 29, 2009 at 11:00:00 AM


MRDC Building, Room 2404


Bojan Petrovic
(404) 894-8173


The University of Missouri (MU), the Idaho National Laboratory (INL), the National Atomic Energy Commission of Argentina (CNEA), and the University of Missouri Research Reactor (MURR) are collaborating in the field of Neutron Capture Therapy (NCT) for cancer under the leadership of the MU International Institute for Nano and Molecular Medicine. This initiative is focused on the development of improved boron targeting agents and treatment protocols for an array of non-traditional tumor types. A key first step of this effort has been the design and construction of a new thermal neutron beam irradiation facility for radiobiological research at the MURR. The beamline features the use of single-crystal silicon and bismuth sections for neutron filtering and for reduction of incident gamma radiation. The calculated and measured thermal neutron fluxes produced at the irradiation location are 9.2x108 and 8.8x108 neutrons/cm2-s, respectively. Calculations were performed using coupled deterministic (discrete-ordinates) and Monte Carlo (MCNP) models. These results indicate a well-thermalized neutron spectrum with sufficient thermal neutron flux for a variety of in-vivo small animal BNCT radiobiological studies. Longer-term plans call for development of an epithermal neutron beam facility as well, for large-animal and possibly human clinical studies as well.


Dr. David W. Nigg (Doctorate, Engineering Sciences, University of Kansas) has approximately 30 years of progressively responsible scientific, engineering and management experience at the Idaho National Laboratory, an element of the US Department of Energy National Laboratory system. His primary areas of interest and expertise are in computational and experimental reactor physics, research reactors, and medical applications of nuclear and radiological sciences. He is a registered Professional Engineer by examination in the State of Idaho; he has authored or co-authored approximately 100 refereed scientific publications of various types and has supervised 10 graduate theses in connection with adjunct faculty appointments at several universities, including Georgia Tech. He is co-inventor on three US patents and one foreign patent. He is the recipient of the 2006 Hatanaka Award from The International Society for Neutron Capture Therapy (ISNCT) for sustained research contributions in Neutron Capture Therapy (NCT), and his NCT-related publications have twice received awards for excellence from the American Nuclear Society.


Refreshments will be served.