A source for boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) comprises a body of photoneutron emitter that includes heavy water and is closely surrounded in heat-imparting relationship by target material; one or more electron linear accelerators for supplying electron radiation having energy of substantially 2 to 10 MeV and for impinging such radiation on the target material, whereby photoneutrons are produced and heat is absorbed from the target material by the body of photoneutron emitter. The heavy water is circulated through a cooling arrangement to remove heat. A tank, desirably cylindrical or spherical, contains the heavy water, and a desired number of the electron accelerators circumferentially surround the tank and the target material as preferably made up of thin plates of metallic tungsten. Neutrons generated within the tank are passed through a surrounding region containing neutron filtering and moderating materials and through neutron delimiting structure to produce a beam or beams of epithermal neutrons normally having a minimum flux intensity level of 1.0.times.10.sup.9 neutrons per square centimeter per second. Such beam or beams of epithermal neutrons are passed through gamma ray attenuating material to provide the required epithermal neutrons for BNCT use.
CONTRACTUAL ORIGIN OF THE INVENTION
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC07-94ID13223 between the United States Department of Energy and Lockheed-Martin Idaho Technologies, Inc.