Reactor head shielding is an essential part of every refuel outage. Oconee Nuclear Station sought to upgrade the shielding used at the bottom of the reactor head, opting to use lead-free T-Flex Bismuth blankets.
Specifically designed for the application, these blankets T-Flex blankets were covered in blue PVC with Oconee specified printing that clearly indicated the total weight as well as the area/shielding package. Each blanket also had a hook and loop strap sewn to the PVC cover which allowed each blanket to be secured to the one adjacent to it. This reduced the potential for streaming between the shielding.
The site was able to reduce general area dose rates from 10–20 mRem/hr to 2–5 mRem/hr. This was considered a “big win” for Oconee Nuclear Station.