Assessment of the detection efficiency calibration of high-resolution gamma-ray spectrometers by EGSnrc and MCNP6.2 Monte Carlo codes

Sayın S., Seferinoğlu M., Yeltepe E., Çetin B., Şentürk Lüle S.

Radiation Physics and Chemistry, vol.203, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 203
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.radphyschem.2022.110601
  • Journal Name: Radiation Physics and Chemistry
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Aerospace Database, Chemical Abstracts Core, Chimica, Communication Abstracts, Compendex, EMBASE, INSPEC, Metadex, Pollution Abstracts, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Keywords: Gamma-ray spectrometry, Efficiency calibration, Monte Carlo simulation, Activity measurement, Measurement uncertainty
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


© 2022 Elsevier LtdDetermination of the activity content of radionuclides with high accuracy and precision with gamma-ray spectrometry is strongly based on the detection efficiency calibration of the detector. The detector efficiency calibration is determined with standard reference sources and/or Monte Carlo codes. The current study provides methodology that can be used to generate efficiency curve with simulations instead of experiments. As a result, the need for additional experiments can be reduced. The implementation of a specific script written on EGSnrc Monte Carlo code was investigated to calculate the detection efficiency with high-level accuracy for high-purity germanium (HPGe) spectrometry. For this purpose, two HPGe detectors (ORTEC and PGT) used routinely in the activity measurement of gamma emitting radionuclides were modelled with EGSnrc code to obtain detection efficiencies for 40–2000 keV energy range. The detector models were benchmarked against MCNP6.2 Monte Carlo code with a hypothetical source geometry. The code-to-code comparison between EGSnrc and MCNP6.2 codes indicted that the codes can be used to generate a reliable detection efficiency curve. The benchmark results showed that median arithmetic deviations of the efficiencies of ORTEC and PGT detectors are found as 0.88% and 1.69%, respectively. The experimental studies were performed with 22Na, 57Co, 60Co, 137Cs, and 241Am standard disc sources for the ORTEC detector and with in-house prepared 152Eu sandwich-type source for the PGT detector. The sources were counted in the energy range of 59.5–1408 keV. The efficiency values from simulations were used in the calculation of the activities of the aforementioned gamma sources with a mathematical formula and resulting measured activity values were compared with reference activity values given in the certificates. In addition, the applicability of spreadsheet approach that is usually used to determine the combined standard uncertainty for alpha-particle spectrometry was investigated for gamma-ray spectrometry. The performance of the recommended procedure was scored in terms of relative bias, z-score, u-test, trueness, and precision. The activity results obtained with simulated efficiencies showed good agreement with certified values.