A new polythene-B4C based concrete for shielding

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Shielding plays an important role at neutron sources for both radiation safety and for minimizing background noise in neutron experiments. Shielding is regularly made from concrete, which contains hydrogen atoms that help to slow down neutrons. A team at the ESS in Sweden, led by Phillip Bentley, wanted to see if they could improve the neutron shielding properties of a standard concrete. They added extra hydrogen into the concrete in the form of polyethylene (PE) beads and also included  boron carbide, another substance known to inhibit the transmission of neutrons.

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