Radioactive shielding

In light of recent disasters in the Ukrainian Chernobyl and the Japanese Fukushima-1 and Fukushima-2, radiation protection has become almost another global problem of mankind.Even 50 years ago, the radioactivity was some abstract property of certain chemical elements, now of spontaneous nuclear decay even know the student, for that matter, and about the dangers of radiation.

most dangerous alpha, beta and gamma rays can cause serious damage to all structures of the body (radiation disease), cancer, genetic disorders and death (acute radiation sickness).

Depending on the type of radiation, and different means of protection against radiation, as each particle is characterized by its penetrating ability.Thus, alpha-particles having a maximum damaging effect, however, do not penetrate even through a sheet of ordinary paper.An obstacle to the beta rays can be glass.But gamma radiation has a high penetrating power.Protected from it by using a lead or steel plate.

Radiation protection involves not only a physical barrier between the human body and the source of radiation.Radioactive particles can easily penetrate into the body through the respiratory tract, digestive tract.

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methods of radiation protection, depending on the approach divided into several types:

  • time.Depending on the time elapsed since the explosion of a nuclear catastrophe, radiation dose varies considerably: in 2.5-3 years it is reduced by about 100 times.
  • The same rule applies to the distance from the radiation source or epicenter.With increasing distance from the epicenter of 2 times the radiation level is reduced to 4 times.
  • Mechanical barriers mentioned above, as a good radiation protection.But more often than not it is possible to determine which is the radiation we have to do, and therefore better use of universal barriers (which, however, do not protect against gamma rays, but only weaken them): brick or concrete walls at least 40 cm thick,steel or lead from partition 8-13 cm, 90 cm of soil.The best screen from gamma radiation is water.
  • addition, there are individual means of protection against radiation.These include a dust mask and rubber gloves (from alpha radiation), mask (beta radiation), plastic bags on all exposed areas of the body (neutron radiation).
  • Given that the radiation has the ability to penetrate through the digestive tract, to be protected from it, and water and food.To do this, the water tank must be sealed, the same goes for food: they must be sealed in polyethylene and be sure to wash with clean water before use in order to wash away radioactive dust.
  • There are also chemical means of protection.Despite the general belief, this is not an iodine!If taken in large amounts, you only hurt yourself, but vitamin complexes with iodine is acceptable.Also useful chelators, the simplest of which - activated carbon.According to some experts, it has radioprotective properties of Eleutherococcus tincture.Preparations based on mercapto alkylamine are drugs specifically designed to protect against radiation.
  • for decontamination of various objects and surfaces clean efficient use of water and soap solution.

During the era of nuclear energy humanity has accumulated an impressive store of information about the mechanism of action of various types of radiation, how to protect against them.However, 100% protection from radiation is not provided by any of them, despite the fact that the danger of a nuclear explosion on the planet is very real in the current imperfect conditions nuclear disarmament and reluctant countries 'nuclear club'.