Nuclear Radiation Shielding Protection by Ken Jorgustin for Modern Survival Blog
Radiation shielding is a mass of absorbing material placed between yourself and the source of radiation in order to reduce the radiation to a level that is safer for humans.
The effectiveness of the material depends on:
– the type of radiation itself
– properties of the shielding material
– the shielding strength or thickness of that material.
(UPDATED) More Shielding Materials Listed Below
Different types of radiation behave in different ways:
According to the NATO Handbook On The Medical Aspects Of NBC Defensive Operations,
“Gamma or X radiation constitutes the principal casualty producing form of ionizing electromagnetic radiation associated with nuclear explosions”.
In other words, Gamma and X-ray are of primary concern.
The ‘Alpha’ particle (another type of radiation from a nuclear explosion) is also highly dangerous but is hardly penetrable. It can be stopped by a single piece of paper, or an air filter (think of it as a heavy dust particle). It is carried by the wind currents and eventually falls to the ground and ‘decays’.
Gamma radiation though travels at the speed of light.
Nuclear Radiation Shielding – Gamma & X-ray
To protect yourself from gamma radiation resulting from a nuclear explosion, there are three things to remember:
Time & Distance – Get as far away as quickly as you can.
Shielding between you and the radiation source – Knowing how much of what type of material is enough to protect you.
It is the ‘mass’ of the shielding material that does the blocking.
The more shielding, the better.
Shielding is measured by the fraction of gamma rays that it blocks.
A halving thickness is the amount of material that will block half the gamma rays passing through it. A halving thickness ( 1/2 ) has a protection factor (PF) of 2.