Radiation Shielding Materials

Different material thickness requirements to shield from nuclear bomb radiation.

Different material thickness requirements to shield from nuclear bomb radiation.

RADIATION SHIELDING MATERIAL THICKNESS IN INCHES
Figure 13.1

HVL PF Lead
705 #/ft3
Steel
490 #/ft3
Concrete
146 #/ft3
Earth
100 #/ft3
Wood
40 #/ft3
Gamma Neutron Gamma Neutron Gamma Neutron Gamma Neutron Gamma Neutron
1 2.0 0.8 3.5 1.2 2.0 3.9 4.7 5.5 4.7 11.8 3.9
2 4.0 1.6 7.0 2.4 4.0 7.8 9.4 11.0 9.4 23.6 7.8
3 8.0 2.4 10.5 3.6 6.0 11.7 14.1 16.5 14.1 35.4 11.7
4 16.0 3.2 14.0 4.8 8.0 15.6 18.8 22.0 18.8 47.2 15.6
5 32.0 4.0 17.5 6.0 10.0 19.5 23.5 27.5 23.5 59.0 19.5
6 64.0 4.8 21.0 7.2 12.0 23.4 28.2 33.0 28.2 70.8 23.4
7 128.0 5.6 24.5 8.4 14.0 27.3 32.9 38.5 32.9 82.6 27.3
8 256.0 6.4 28.0 9.6 16.0 31.2 37.6 44.0 37.6 94.4 31.2
9 512.0 7.2 31.5 10.8 18.0 35.1 42.3 49.5 42.3 106.2 35.1
10 1,024.0 8.0 35.0 12.0 20.0 39.0 47.0 55.0 47.0 118.0 39.0
11 2,048.0 8.8 38.5 13.2 22.0 42.9 51.7 60.5 51.7 129.8 42.9
12 4,096.0 9.6 42.0 14.4 24.0 46.8 56.4 66.0 56.4 141.6 46.8
13 8,192.0 10.4 45.5 15.6 26.0 50.7 61.1 71.5 61.1 153.4 50.7
14 16,384.0 11.2 49.0 16.8 28.0 54.6 65.8 77.0 65.8 165.2 54.6
15 32,768.0 12.0 52.5 18.0 30.0 58.5 70.5 82.5 70.5 177.0 58.5
16 65,536.0 12.8 56.0 19.2 32.0 62.4 75.2 88.0 75.2 188.8 62.4
17 131,072.0 13.6 59.5 20.4 34.0 66.3 79.9 93.5 79.9 200.6 66.3
18 262,144.0 14.4 63.0 21.6 36.0 70.2 84.6 99.0 84.6 212.4 70.2
19 524,288.0 15.2 66.5 22.8 38.0 74.1 89.3 104.5 89.3 224.2 74.1
20 1,048,576.0 16.0 70.0 24.0 40.0 78.0 94.0 110.0 94.0 236.0 78.0
21 2,097,152.0 16.8 73.5 25.2 42.0 81.9 98.7 115.5 98.7 247.8 81.9
22 4,194,304.0 17.6 77.0 26.4 44.0 85.8 103.4 121.0 103.4 259.6 85.8
23 8,388,608.0 18.4 80.5 27.6 46.0 89.7 108.1 126.5 108.1 271.4 89.7
24 16,777,216.0 19.2 84.0 28.8 48.0 93.6 112.8 132.0 112.8 283.2 93.6
25 33,554,432.0 20.0 87.5 30.0 50.0 97.5 117.5 137.5 117.5 295.0 97.5
26 67,108,864.0 20.8 91.0 31.2 52.0 101.4 122.2 143.0 122.2 306.8 101.4
27 134,217,728.0 21.6 94.5 32.4 54.0 105.3 126.9 148.5 126.9 318.6 105.3
28 268,435,456.0 22.4 98.0 33.6 56.0 109.2 131.6 154.0 131.6 330.4 109.2
29 536,870,912.0 23.2 101.5 34.8 58.0 113.1 136.3 159.5 136.3 342.2 113.1
30 1,073,741,824.0 24.0 105.0 36.0 60.0 117.0 141.0 165.0 141.0 354.0 117.0

Note: The initial gamma radiation HVL varies only slightly from that of fallout gamma and is therefore treated the same in this table

Example: For shielding against gamma radiation, a protection factor of 1,024 would be provided by 8.0 inches of lead, 12.0 inches of steel, 39.0 inches of sand, 39.0 inches of pea gravel, 39.0 inches of concrete, or 55.0 inches of earth.

PRINCIPLES OF PROTECTION, The US Handbook of NBC Weapon Fundamentals and Shelter Engineering Design Standards, Walton McCarthy, 727 pp. 2013, 6th edition, Brown Books.