What is Radiation shielding: Definition and 14 Discussions

Radiation protection, also known as radiological protection, is defined by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as "The protection of people from harmful effects of exposure to ionizing radiation, and the means for achieving this". Exposure can be from a source of radiation external to the human body or due to internal irradiation caused by the ingestion of radioactive contamination.
Ionizing radiation is widely used in industry and medicine, and can present a significant health hazard by causing microscopic damage to living tissue. There are two main categories of ionizing radiation health effects. At high exposures, it can cause "tissue" effects, also called "deterministic" effects due to the certainty of them happening, conventionally indicated by the unit gray and resulting in acute radiation syndrome. For low level exposures there can be statistically elevated risks of radiation-induced cancer, called "stochastic effects" due to the uncertainty of them happening, conventionally indicated by the unit sievert.
Fundamental to radiation protection is the avoidance or reduction of dose using the simple protective measures of time, distance and shielding. The duration of exposure should be limited to that necessary, the distance from the source of radiation should be maximised, and the source shielded wherever possible. To measure personal dose uptake in occupational or emergency exposure, for external radiation personal dosimeters are used, and for internal dose to due to ingestion of radioactive contamination, bioassay techniques are applied.
For radiation protection and dosimetry assessment the International Commission on Radiation Protection (ICRP) and International Commission on Radiation Units and Measurements (ICRU) publish recommendations and data which is used to calculate the biological effects on the human body of certain levels of radiation, and thereby advise acceptable dose uptake limits.

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  1. Strato Incendus

    Wall thickness of ring habitats for radiation shielding

    This is a topic that will be relevant for anyone who plans to use "realistic" artificial gravity (of the centrifugal kind, rather than the "acceleration-based" kind) in their stories - be it on spaceships or space stations: How much of the ring walls has to be dedicated to radiation shielding...
  2. M

    B Can a fireplace be used as a fallout shelter?

    In 2020 we wondered if we could use socks as filter masks. In 2021 we wondered if we could use Chromebooks as computers. And in 2022... But seriously, fallout shelters are supposed to protect against "skyshine", gamma rays from disintegrating isotopes in a Doomsday Shroud in the atmosphere...
  3. S

    B Radiation shielding and redirecting

    Hi, I am looking for the best way to either shield or redirect radiation, particularly Gamma radiation away from vehicles in space with the minimal amount mass. The last thing we need is a few feet of lead. I am hoping to find other options. I would love to redirect radiation away from a...
  4. W

    Building a linear accelerator -- radiation shielding, O2-,

    So, I have no education in this field. I've really been into mutant breeding and crisper plasmid based genetic engineering. I've read that heavy ions create a greater number of mutagens than electron magnetic radiation such as deep uvc. lately particle accelerators have been on my mind. I'm...
  5. Mzzed

    I Can Flexible Bonds Provide More Effective Neutron Radiation Shielding?

    Hi all, I've only just started studying nuclear physics so forgive me if this question makes no sense. I've read that the way neutron shielding works (in simple terms)is that the neutrons act as billiard balls by knocking into the shielding material atoms and being scattered like this until...
  6. S

    Can a Box Block UVC Light for Bacteria-Killing Experiment?

    Hello, I am doing an experiment where I am using a UVC light (254 nm) to kill bacteria for a science fair project. Will putting the light bulb in a card board box be enough to make sure no light escapes? Should I use a reflective material on the inside of a box, like a foil? Thanks!
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    Recommend journals to publish about radiation proteciton

    I plan to publish submit a piece of publication about research on tritium produciton and discharge in PWR. It should be classified into nuclear engineering or radiation protection? Could you help to recommend some magzines of SCI or EI? It's better if the magzine has a fast period of reviewing...
  8. R

    I Meaning of inelastic scattering length

    Hello, what is the physical meaning of the scattering length? I know this question was discussed here before but I still have questions. This quantity is listed in table 1 of this paper: http://rpd.oxfordjournals.org/content/132/1/29.full.pdf. I need to clarify a few things: does scattering...
  9. I

    EMF radiation shielding and dirty electricity

    Hello, Does anyone shield themselves from computer / monitor from EMF radiation? if so what materials do you use to cover/coat your electronics? I am buying an EMF meter soon (Trifield 100XE) and plan on solving all my EMF issues, specifically around my computer tower, monitor, and other...
  10. A

    How does radiation shielding using absorbing materials work?

    I understand that, for example, a thick enough sheet of lead can absorb gamma radiation, but I want to understand what actually happens at the molecular/atomic/subatomic level. Also, can the same logic be applied to cosmic particles? I have tried Googling for an answer, but to no avail. Can...
  11. M

    Why lead is used for radiation shielding?

    I heard that many industries use lead for shielding harmful radiation. do you know why?
  12. S

    What Makes Aluminium an Effective Thermal Radiation Shield?

    Hi all I'm doing a project for energy efficient buildings with thermal insulation.(Just a leisure project and I am not technically that strong!) This is about thermal radiation shielding. My understanding is that Aluminium has higher reflectivity (Hence lower emissivity ) so that it...
  13. S

    Specialization: radiation shielding and reactor materials

    Is specialization in radiation shielding and reactor/reactant materials a valid area of specialization? I am just worried if the two areas are too broad or different to name as my area of specialization. I ask this because I am trying to answer my applications for area of specialization and I...
  14. M

    Is covering a high radioactivity alpha source with a low Z material safer?

    Hi all! I have the following question to solve and it's getting me down. Suppose we have an alpha source with very high radioactivity (such as 100kCu) in our workspace. Even though we know that the range of alpha particles in air is about 4 cm and we try to stay away from the source and...