radiation shield

A radiation shield is a body of material, such as loaded concrete (concrete containing lead, iron, or barium) or lead, used to prevent or reduce the passage of particles or radiation. A shield may be designated according to what it is intended to absorb, as a gamma-ray shield or neutron shield, or according to the kind of protection it is intended to give, as a background, biological, or thermal shield. The shield of a nuclear reactor is a body of material designed to prevent the escape of neutrons and radiation into a protected area, which frequently is the entire space external to the reactor. It may be required for the safety of personnel or to reduce radiation sufficiently to allow use of counting instruments.