The Radiation Shielding Design Process – How MarShield Can Help Turn an Idea to a Finished Product

When it comes to radiation shielding in any industry, often a standard off the shelf product is not the best fit to maximize shielding effectiveness and efficiency in your operations. Clients require custom radiation shielding solutions that are designed to meet their specific needs.

Challenge MarShield

MarShield provides custom radiation shielding options and offers to be involved right from the initial design phase all the way through to the manufacturing and delivery of the finished product. The design process starts by consulting with the customer on what their shielding needs are. MarShield will then work with the customer’s engineers, and health physicists’ team to come up with an option that best meets the need and application of the customer.

Co-Operative Efforts and Custom Design

Part of the advantage of working with MarShield is the company’s ability to collaborate with a customer’s engineers and health physicists and provide guidance on the manufacturing process of radiation shielding. This initial consultation can lead to better design and product. Often in the nuclear industry, standard radiation shielding solutions do not fit, so a custom design is often required. When a customer is unfamiliar with shielding installation or lead pouring, designs can be created that are not feasible to build or risk the loss of shielding integrity. MarShield brings valuable insight and knowledge to radiation shielding projects.

MarShield specializes in lead pouring for the nuclear industry which involves using our industry-accepted nuclear lead pouring procedures to cast, from a mold, or fill into a steel fabrication. Often the customer will have an initial design of a fabrication they would like filled or an initial concept. MarShield will consult on things such as if the fabrication needs to be made from thicker steel to prevent deformation during the lead pouring process, or where the lead can be poured into the fabrication to allow for better control of the lead pouring process. By working with customers early in the design phase, MarShield can educate customers on our lead pour procedures and provide advice on designing and bracing fabrications during lead pouring.

MarShield can also assist with design solutions for temporary shielding. Often during large nuclear projects like reactor refurbishments, temporary shielding needs to be installed to protect workers during the refurb process. MarShield offers a variety of products that can be used for temporary shielding including lead products such as bricks, lead wool, and lead shot, or non-lead alternative materials such as tungsten and tungsten composite materials that can be installed on a blanket racking system. Borated polyethylene or pellets and high-density concrete blocks are essential to have when temporary shielding is needed for neutron radiation.

Quality Program

MarShield is a certified Canadian Standards Association (CSA) company as well as an ISO 9001:2015 program. Due to the safety concerns when dealing with nuclear power and radiation, high manufacturing standards are put in place on suppliers in the nuclear industry. In Canada, CSA CAN3-N299.3:16 is the top standard, while the United States mainly uses ASME NQA – 1. These standards are similar and ensure quality.

Material Experts

Choosing the right shielding materials for the application is the first step in our process. There are several factors when approaching a radiation shield challenge that need to be considered in material selection, most importantly the type of radiation. For gamma radiation, MarShield can offer lead, heavy tungsten, or other lead alternative materials. When dealing with neutron radiation, high-density concrete or borated polyethylene can be provided. Other factors such as available space, if the shielding needs to flexible or cost can be important factors in determining the best shielding design. Available space for your shielding is also a key factor.

More than Just Shielding

With MarShield’s vast experience, MarShield can work with various industry experts to provide the customer the best fit in any scenario or budget. MarShield offers complete turnkey solutions, from concept to finished product, from fabrication and machining to coating and non-destructive gamma testing. If you would like to learn more about MarShield’s design and manufacturing process or if you would like to challenge MarShield with a current radiation shielding challenge, you can visit the MarShield website or you can contact MarShield directly

About the Author

Paul Rochus

Paul Rochus is the Business Development Executive and a Shielding Technician at MarShield Radiation Shielding since January 2019. Before his time at MarShield, Paul completed his Bachelors of Engineering from McMaster University in Engineering Physics with a focus on Nuclear Engineering and Energy Systems. At McMaster, Paul developed knowledge in radiation safety and interaction of radiation with matter, as well as nuclear reactor design and analysis.