The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) operate the IAEA/WHO TLD postal dose audit programme. The purpose of the programme is to verify the beam calibration in radiotherapy centres in developing countries and to check the Secondary Standards Dosimetry Laboratories (SSDLs). Thermoluminescence dosimeters (TLDs) are used as transfer dosimeters and the evaluation of these are done at the IAEA Dosimetry Laboratory. In the present work the uncertainties in the process of dose determination from TLD readings have been evaluated.
The analysis comprises the TLD reading reproducibility, uncertainties in the calibration coefficient, and uncertainties in factors correcting for fading of TL signal, influence of TLD holder, energy response and dose response non-linearity. The individual uncertainties were combined to estimate the total uncertainty in the evaluated dose from TLD readings. Experimental data from 2001-2005 were used in the analysis.
The total uncertainty has been estimated to be 1.2 % for irradiations with 60Co -rays and 1.6 % for irradiations with high-energy X-rays. Results from irradiations by the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (BIPM), Primary Standard Dosimetry Laboratories (PSDLs), Secondary Standard Dosimetry Laboratories (SSDLs) and reference centres compare favourably with the estimated uncertainties.
The largest uncertainty components are in the energy correction factor (for high-energy X-rays) with a value of 1.1 % and in the dose response non-linearity correction factor with a value of 0.9 %.
It has been shown that the acceptance limits of 5 % for TLD results of hospitals and 3.5 % for SSDLs are justified when related to the uncertainties in the dose calculations and the uncertainty in the determination of absorbed dose to water at the centre, as discussed in IAEA TRS-398 (IAEA, 2000), provided that it is followed.
2006. , 43 p.