Detailed program and schedule

  Saturday 10/06/2023 Sunday 11/06/2023 Monday 12/06/2023
8:15 – 8:30 Welcome    
8:30 – 9:30 A. Lyoussi – Interaction of radiation with matter E. Fanchini – Innovation aspects in radioactive waste characterization F. d’Errico / S. Pospisil – Flash electron therapy (plenary)
9:30 – 10:30 A. Lyoussi – General aspects of radiation detectors C. Reynard-Carrette – Nuclear heating rate measurements  
10:30 – 10:45 Coffee break Coffee break Coffee break
10:45 – 12:30 J.M. Gómez-Ros – Hands-on OPENMC simulation code training (plenary) – part I A. Malizia – Hands-on HOTSPOT simulation code training (plenary) Labs (5 simultaneous)
12:30 – 13:30 Lunch Lunch Lunch
13:30 – 14:30 J.M. Gómez-Ros – Hands-on OPENMC simulation code training (plenary) – part II A. Chierici – Fundamentals on electronics / semiconductor detectors P. Le Dû – Medical physics instrumentation
14:30 – 15:30 Labs (5 simultaneous) Labs (5 simultaneous) P. Le Dû – Tips for presenting your scientific work
15:30 – 16:15 Examination and proclamation Starting at: 15:45
16:15 – 16:30 Coffee break Coffee break
16:30 – 18:00


Labs (5 simultaneous)


Labs (5 simultaneous)
18:00 – 19:00 Reception    

Labs topics

  • F. d’Errico / G. Mangiagalli / M. Holik / V. Vicha / S. Pospisil: Neutron detection and identification methods & applications [Next to source deposit]
  • R. Ciolini / G. Roina: Introduction to statistics for radiological measurements: [Didactic Lab]
  • S. Lalic / D. Siqueira: Luminescence detection technique [Dosimetry Lab]
  • A. Chierici / P. Garosi: Gamma spectroscopy [CAEN Spectroscopy Lab]
  • C. Mattone / F. Pazzagli: EasyPet System [Didactic Lab]

Ex-cathedra courses

Radiation detection and measurement methods (A. Lyoussi)

Starting from the physical principles on interaction of radiation with matter, the course will discuss the performances and the limitations of various radiation detectors that can be used in nuclear reactors and in the subsequent stages of the nuclear fuel cycle.

The course will be structured in two parts:

  1. Interaction of radiation with matter.
  2. Physical principles of radiation detector:
    • Gas-filled detectors
    • Scintillation detectors
    • Solid-state detectors (semiconductor, diamond, TLD)
    • Activation detectors

Innovation aspects in radioactive waste characterization (E. Fanchini)

Short course on the results of the MICADO project focusing on the characterization procedures of the radiological waste produced in dismantling and decommissioning of nuclear facilities or the legacy waste. Innovative detection technologies, digitalization, tracking of the information and minimization of the error propagation studies are some of the elements that will be reported to have an overview of the innovations in this field of application.

Medical physics instrumentation (P. Le Dû)

The main objective of this lecture is to present the basic of medical nuclear medicine seen from an experimental particle physicist. It is particularly designed as a basic educating lecture.

The course will be structured as follows:

  1. What is medical physics?
    • A little bit of history from the 1900’s.
    • A refreshing presentation of Radiation units (Curie, Becquerel, Gray’s , Sievert ..) and their effects on the human body.
    • The basic of Radiology (from standard exam to the Computed Tomography).
    • Fighting again cancer with modern tools and techniques.
    • Introduction to Nuclear medicine, with details about dosimetry and production of tracers.
  2. An introduction of diagnostic imaging modalities and devices: CT, MRI, SPECT, PET with their technical evolution from past to future.
  3. Therapy with radiation: from Curie therapy, radiotherapy to particle therapy.
  4. Software and simulation: image formation, reconstruction and quantification techniques, emerging trends in diagnostic imaging (the use of AI).

Nuclear heating rate measurements (C. Reynard-Carette)

The nuclear heating rate, corresponding to an intense absorbed dose rate induced by the various interactions between radiation and matter and leading to an increase in temperature in the matter, represents a key nuclear quantity for research reactors and their associated irradiation experiments in terms of thermal, thermal-hydraulic and mechanical design and data interpretation. The nuclear heating rate is measured on-line by means of specific calorimetric sensors called calorimeters. There are two types of calorimeters: the single cell calorimeter and the differential calorimeter. The short course will present:

  • these different types of calorimeters,
  • their design, materials, instrumentation and assembly,
  • their thermal principle,
  • their calibration under laboratory conditions without nuclear radiation,
  • their measurement methods under real conditions (irradiation campaign),
  • their main characteristics (sensitivity, measurement range, response time…),
  • their advantages and drawbacks,
  • the associated challenges.

The short course will be illustrated by results from the literature and the comprehensive approach conducted at Aix-Marseille University to innovate in calorimetry by coupling experimental work with simulations from laboratory conditions to real conditions.

How to present your scientific work? (P. Le Dû)

Some simple “personal” suggestions and guidelines extracted from the lecturer’s own long experience illustrated with some typical examples taken mostly from NPSS material like conferences, workshops and instrumentation schools. This lecture on science writing intends to train young scientists to become more effective and confident writers.

It will address some essential and challenging skills like:

  • Scientific writing: structure and format according to the target (conference record, journal papers, status report, grant proposal, etc.), reviewing: title, abstract, summary, conclusions and references.
  • Oral and remote (virtual) presentation using PPT and PDF.
  • Poster presentation.

Fundamentals on electronics / semiconductor detectors (A. Chierici)

Nowadays, semiconductor materials used as radiation detectors find application in several different fields such as the industrial sectors, medical dosimetry, safety and security and more. Their performance depends on the characteristic properties that are not available with other detector types. The combination of high readout speed, the direct availability of signals in electronic form, the excellent spectroscopic performance, and the possibility of integrating detector and readout electronics on a common substrate are some of the obtainable benefits.

Since both detectors and detection methods are currently field of developments and investigations, this course will describe the physics principles of radiation interaction with semiconductors to understand how radiation can be detected.

Then, the detectors working basic principles and their main features will be reviewed together with an introduction to the electronics architecture of the most common readout and data acquisition systems. The performance of detectors will also be evaluated based on some of the main characteristic parameters, such as energy resolution, detection efficiency and dead time.

Plenary practical sessions

Hands-on OPEN MC simulation code training (J. M. Gómez-Ros)

The class will introduce participants to Monte Carlo simulations by using the freely available OpenMC code as an example. OpenMC is a community-developed Monte Carlo neutron and photon transport code. It is capable of performing fixed source, k-eigenvalue, and subcritical multiplication calculations on models built using either a constructive solid geometry or CAD representation. A flexible and efficient tally system enables a wide variety of physical quantities to be tallied and analyzed. As an example of the possible applications of the code, the design of a 3He based neutron radiation monitor will be shown.

Hands-on HOTSPOT simulation code training (A. Malizia)

The HotSpot code is an open-access tool developed by NARAC-Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). HotSpot provides emergency response personnel and emergency planners with a fast, field-portable set of software tools for evaluating incidents involving radioactive material. The software is also used for safety analyses of facilities handling nuclear material. The candidates will learn the advantages and limitations of the use of HotSpot and will run, together with the lecturer, some simulations to learn how to use HotSpot and how to obtain: Total Equivalent Dose (TED) and Ground Depositions maps; how to use the different models of HotSpot and how to create customized mixtures. The lecture will end with the assignment of 2 case studies that the candidates must face alone showing the results by the end of the lecture.
The candidates need a laptop for this lecture, and they have to install HotSpot prior to the beginning of the lecture. HotSpot can be downloaded here:
Once the candidates have completed the registration, they will land on a page with 2 versions of HotSpot.
The last version of HotSpot can be used by those who have Windows 8 to 11 as an operating system.
The MAC users can download and install “Play on Mac”, then download the oldest version of HotSpot and run it through the “Play on Mac” application.

Parallel laboratory sessions (in small groups)

Neutron detection and identification methods & applications Laboratory (F. d’Errico / G. Mangiagalli / M. Holik / V. Vicha / S. Pospisil)

Short course on the slow and fast neutron physics and the nuclear reactions of interest in neutron detection. Slow neutron detection methods and innovative detection system based on super-heated drop (bubble) detectors. Fast neutron detection and spectroscopy. A comprehensive presentation of instruments equipped with neutron detectors: handhelds for infield measurements, first responder backpack radiation devices, unattended monitors, pedestrian and vehicle portals and systems for fuel or waste characterization. Detection method, use case applications, operative scenario and live demo will be performed for each type of instrument.

Introduction to statistics for radiological measurements (R. Ciolini / G. Roina)

In this laboratory exercise, the probabilistic behavior of radioactive decay and radiation interaction processes is shown. The radiation emitted by a long lived radioactive source (so that its activity can be considered constant during the measuring time) in a fixed time is repeatedly measured by using a Geiger counter and the corresponding counting statistics is analyzed to verify the Poisson statistical distribution. Moreover, a preliminary description of gas detectors (Geiger in particular) is shown, with measurement of their more relevant properties (Geiger counting plateau and dead time).

Luminescence detection technique (S. Lalic / D. Siqueira)

Dosimeters are instruments used to measure exposure to ionizing radiation. They are an essential tool for people working in situations where they are exposed to radiation. Luminescence remains one of the most used phenomena in passive dosimetry. Thermoluminescence is the foundation of successful commercial dosimetry systems. Furthermore, luminescent minerals collected from the environment have been successfully applied to important dose reconstruction studies, particularly in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and more recently in areas affected by radioactive fallout due to accidents or nuclear tests. In this lecture, we will discuss the state of the art in luminescent dosimetry and examine the range of materials and techniques that are potentially available for its investigation. Mainly practical aspects of its application will be included.

Gamma spectroscopy Laboratory (A. Chierici / P. Garosi)

Laboratory based on HPGe germanium and scintillation detectors used for the identification and quantification of radioisotopes. After an introduction on the gamma measurement stations, the hands-on lesson will focus on how to acquire and study gamma spectra using different radionuclides; in the meanwhile, the key differences between spectra acquired with HPGe and scintillation detectors will be highlighted.

EasyPet System (C. Mattone, F. d’Errico, F. Pazzagli)

The laboratory course will allow the students to explore the physical and technological principles of the conventional human PET scanners, using the same basic detectors of state-of-the-art systems. The first part will be a training on the CAEN EasyPET use, a simple and portable didactic PET system. The EasyPET concept, protected under a patent filed by Aveiro University, is based on a single pair of detectors kept collinear during the whole data acquisition and a moving mechanism with two degrees of freedom to reproduce the functionalities of an entire PET ring. The main advantages are in terms of the reduction of the complexity and cost of the PET system. It opens the possibility of teaching by doing the basics behind PET imaging, which is certainly an asset to high-level educational laboratories.

In the second part, participants will get familiar with the EasyPET system through a session of practical hands-on covering the Nuclear Physic field. What is being proposed has to do with γ rays and with the nuclear imaging, visualizing the reconstructed 2D image in real-time during acquisition and performing several didactic experiments related to PET imaging. Participants will learn how to configure measurement parameters to obtain a high-quality 2D image.