Advanced Materials: TechConnect Briefs 2015Advanced Materials TechConnect Briefs 2015

Nanotech Commercialization: Safety & Sustainability Chapter 11

Nuclear Reaction Control and Shielding Systems based on Radiation Guiding in Active Nano-Structures

L. Popa-Simil
LAOS - Los Alamos Academy of Sciences, United States

pp. 604 - 607

Keywords: radiation-guide, nano-structures, reactor-shield, active-shield, radiation concentrator, neutrino-communication, reactor-power-modulation

The actual nuclear reactors are using heavy concrete shielding, in order to reduce the radiation outside the active zone. The main radiation attenuation method is called mass-attenuation, because no matter (with some approximation) what material we are using, in order to get a radiation attenuation ratio, about same mass is required, no matter if it is hydrogen, water or tungsten for electromagnetic radiations with energies above 300 keV, inside gamma ray domain. For neutron attenuation, light, neutron absorbent materials are used for shielding surrounded by gamma absorbent shielding, which all together makes the nuclear power source heavier by 2-10 times. The novel material relies on trapping the gamma radiation and neutrons inside specially engineered nano-structures, which guides it along the structure, changing its direction without changing its energy. This material is useful in radiation imaging, non-imaging concentrators, and radiation modulators. The shield made of the new material is lighter that the actual shielding, and it may be used as reactivity control device, having a response time in micro-seconds being by at least 1000 times faster than the actual reflective drums, allowing the nuclear reactor power (amplitude) modulation up to MHz frequencies, good for strategic neutrino communication systems.