Arraela S.L., a company specialized in the development and implementation of projects about medical radioactive facilities has designed a proton therapy bunker made from multiple materials, most of them special concretes developed by its R+D laboratory offering the following advantages:
- Reduction of shielding thickness due to the materials used that show an attenuation capacity for both neutron and gamma rays far greater than conventional concrete (reductions are currently around 45%, but the design is being optimized and it will enable an even greater thickness reduction). (Data only for vertical structures. The upper slab would be cause for another study with its corresponding reductions).
- One of the materials used in the design of the bunker is CONTEK® RNH developed by Arraela S.L. that is able to absorb fully thermal neutrons and this virtually reduces all the dispersed retro radiation in the room. This prevents additional radiation from reaching the patient causing further harm.
- The high capacity of attenuation and neutron absorption of various materials developed by Arraela S.L. allow a reduction in labyrinth size in this type of installations, as well as significantly reduce the thickness of doors required for this type of rooms. The reduction in the length of the labyrinth, the lightness of doors and its speed of manoeuvre and allows the processing times to be shortened due to patients repositioning and functional circulations during the treatment process..
The difference in size between a standard proton theraphy bunker and one of Arraela (this latter with 45% smaller size) is reflected in the schemes presented below.
In the pictures below you can see two designs of a 235 MeV Proton bunker. Figure 1 shows an installation made from conventional concrete, whereas Figure 2 shows the same installation made from the composition of CONTEK® various materials..
The figure below shows the reduction of thicknesses in shielding enclosures, involving less space for the same installation.
45% thickness reduction, as shown below:
In the case of reinforced doors eading to cyclotron and to different rooms (treatment and/or experimental) there is a significant reduction both in thickness and weight. Thus, in the example of a 235 MeV Proton accelerator´s image the ordinary door to access the cyclotron would be made of steel and conventional concrete with a thickness of 70 cm and a mass about 12.9 Tm ,while CONTEK® materials allow a door of 26.5 cm thick with a mass of 4.5 Tm. Volume loss is about 65% and weight loss about 61%.