The heat-resistant shielding is made made of tungsten and iron metal powder immersed in a silicone polymer that attaches itself using imbedded magnets. As a polymer material, this shielding becomes form-fitting and can be cut with scissors or knives, allowing for a “field fit” that works well around obstructions. It can be used to plug small areas or a sheet can be custom cut to cover significant areas next to the reactor wall. ANO has also developed a personal shielding tungsten vest.

“It was a natural extension of the tungsten shields developed for surfaces. I wanted a vest to shield a person when we couldn’t effectively shield a source of radiation,” said Jim Bacquet, radiation protection supervisor. 

 “In nuclear plants, it is very important that we question and develop new ways to improve safety and radiation protection,” said Entergy nuclear president, CEO and chief nuclear officer John Herron. “I am proud of our ANO staff and commend their innovative, scientifically-sound engineering approach with tungsten.” The ANS established the Meritorious Performance in Operations Award in 1984 to recognize and honour outstanding achievement in the field of nuclear reactor operations.