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Concretes with thermoplastic materials for protection from radiation


Radiation-Shielding Thermoplastic Material for the Structures of Nuclear Reactor Bodies, Protective Shells and Screens

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-WDS/Waste Disposal/Environment
  • FIR-DEC/Decommissioning/Fission Reactors
  • FIR-MAT/Materials/Fission Reactors

3 Approved without Funding

Дата регистрации

Ведущий институт
Tbilisi Architectural and Civil Engineering Institute, Georgia, Tbilisi


  • Northwestern Polytechnic University, USA, CA, Fremont

Краткое описание проекта

For protection from hazards that may arise from nuclear explosion as well as for the provision of ecological stability in the zones of plants that are the sources of ionizing radiation (nuclear power facilities, military facilities, radioactive wastes storages) and for biological shielding of the personnel involved, it is essential to use adequate materials with improved performance characteristics that not only afford reliable protection but are also relatively inexpensive and readily available.

Concretes are reputed to provide protection against ionizing radiation. The combination of concrete mass with the presence of hydrogen in water, both free and cristal-bound, provides a rather reliable n-ray and neutron radiation shielding. The improvement of concrete protective properties normally involves considerable expenses associated with the application of expensive materials as well as with an increase in concrete body and mass. Then again, the problem of reliable n-ray proofing appears to be somewhat easily resolvable by the application of high-density concretes. The bulk of the expenditures on improvement of concrete protective properties is associated with the protection against neutron radiation. What is here taken into consideration is that neutron radiation, apart from being biologically injurious, brings about prolonged induced radiation in protective facilities as well as destruction of and changes in shielding materials.

Bearing in mind, that the cheapest way of improving the protective properties of concrete exposed to neutron radiation is to increase the number of hydrogen atoms in its body, we have developed chemically effective hydrogen-comprising thermoplastic material to be used for the impregnation of different kinds of concretes. Previous testing of concrete cubes modified with the thermoplastic material proposed has shown thermal neutron radiation intensity reduction ratio to be ranging between a few dozens and several thousands, depending on initial concrete density and the amount of thermoplastic material impregnated. The tests have been run on ИPT-type nuclear reactor at the Institute of Physics of Georgian Academy of Sciences.

Furthermore, the impregnation of the thermoplastic material proposed into concrete contributed to a considerable improvement of its strength characteristics, which is rather important for the upgrading of reliability and performance characteristics of concrete products. It may be used for the impregnation of other porous materials as well.

Further work envisages the optimization of thermoplastic material composition, working out methods for the impregnation of various types of concretes, testing modified concrete cubes for protection from neutron (thermal and high-speed neutrons) and g radiation, the investigation of physical and mechanical characteristics.