This document specifies the requirements for reference beta radiation fields produced by radioactive sources to be used for the calibration of personal and area dosemeters and dose-rate meters to be used for the determination of the quantities Hp(0,07), H'(0,07;Ω), Hp(3) and H'(3;Ω), and for the determination of their response as a function of beta particle energy and angle of incidence. The basic quantity in beta dosimetry is the absorbed-dose rate in a tissue-equivalent slab phantom. This document gives the characteristics of radionuclides that have been used to produce reference beta radiation fields, gives examples of suitable source constructions and describes methods for the measurement of the residual maximum beta particle energy and the dose equivalent rate at a depth of 0,07 mm in the International Commission on Radiation Units and Measurements (ICRU) sphere. The energy range involved lies between 0,22 MeV and 3,6 MeV maximum beta energy corresponding to 0,07 MeV to 1,2 MeV mean beta energy and the dose equivalent rates are in the range from about 10 µSv·h-1 to at least 10 Sv·h-1.. In addition, for some sources, variations of the dose equivalent rate as a function of the angle of incidence are given. However, as noted in ICRU 56, the ambient dose equivalent, H*(10), used for area monitoring, and the personal dose equivalent, Hp(10), as used for individual monitoring, of strongly penetrating radiation, are not appropriate quantities for any beta radiation, even that which penetrates 10 mm of tissue (Emax > 2 MeV).
This document is applicable to two series of reference beta radiation fields, from which the radiation necessary for determining the characteristics (calibration and energy and angular dependence of response) of an instrument can be selected.
Series 1 reference radiation fields are produced by radioactive sources used with beam-flattening filters designed to give uniform dose equivalent rates over a large area at a specified distance. The proposed sources of 106Ru/106Rh, 90Sr/90Y, 85Kr, 204Tl and 147Pm produce maximum dose equivalent rates of approximately 200 mSv·h–1.
Series 2 reference radiation fields are produced without the use of beam-flattening filters, which allows large area planar sources and a range of source-to-calibration plane distances to be used. Close to the sources, only relatively small areas of uniform dose rate are produced, but this series has the advantage of extending the energy and dose rate ranges beyond those of series 1. The series also include radiation fields using polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) absorbers to reduce the maximum beta particle energy. The radionuclides used are those of series 1; these sources produce dose equivalent rates of up to 10 Sv·h–1.