The ANDANTE project is expected to produce results that will have an impact on any facet of radiation protection where neutrons are a significant factor. The re-evaluation of RBE for neutrons will provide information of fundamental importance to the ICRP formalism of radiation protection. This will have direct implications for any industry where neutrons are produced as a by-product, for example:
- The nuclear power industry (both conventional fission reactors and potentially fusion power in the future). The safety design of work areas, and the site safety rules and procedures are all dependent on the knowledge of the risks to health from neutrons.
- High energy medical linear accelerators. Any linear accelerator producing x-rays of energy more than 10MeV generates unwanted neutrons, and the bunker design must include special elements such as a long entrance maze, borated polyethylene wall linings, neutron doors, etc. The level to which safety design must reduce neutron dose rate is determined directly from the estimated risks from neutrons.
- Long-haul air crew. Guidelines for scheduling of high-altitude long-haul air crew are dependent on the estimated risks from neutrons.
More specifically since the validation and evaluation of the RBE models makes use of follow-up data from paediatric proton therapy patients, there is a strong possibility that the results from ANDANTE, certainly from the prospective epidemiological study, will have a direct impact on the understanding of long term risks of second cancers following exposure to neutrons during proton therapy. This will be of considerable benefit to an increasing number of children who are being treated with this modality in assessing the safety of the treatment compared to possible alternatives.