Creation and application of voxelised dosimetric models, and a comparison with the current methodology as used for the International Commission on Radiological Protection’s Reference Animals and Plants

Academic Article


  • Over the past decade, the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) has developed a comprehensive approach to environmental protection that includes the use of Reference Animals and Plants (RAPs) to assess radiological impacts on the environment. For the purposes of calculating radiation dose, the RAPs are approximated as simple shapes that contain homogeneous distributions of radionuclides. As uncertainties in environmental dose effects are larger than uncertainties in radiation dose calculation, some have argued against more realistic dose calculation methodologies. However, due to the complexity of organism morphology, internal structure, and density, dose rates calculated via a homogenous model may be too simplistic. The purpose of this study is to examine the benefits of a voxelised phantom compared with simple shapes for organism modelling. Both methods typically use Monte Carlo methods to calculate absorbed dose, but voxelised modelling uses an exact three-dimensional replica of an organism with accurate tissue composition and radionuclide source distribution. It is a multi-stage procedure that couples imaging modalities and processing software with Monte Carlo N-Particle. These features increase dosimetric accuracy, and may reduce uncertainty in non-human biota dose–effect studies by providing mechanistic answers regarding where and how population-level dose effects arise.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Annals of the ICRP  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Higley K; Ruedig E; Gomez-Fernandez M; Caffrey E; Jia J; Comolli M; Hess C
  • Start Page

  • 313
  • End Page

  • 330
  • Volume

  • 44