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2007/62/9 Viewing window, for radioactive material, glass / lead, maker unknown, location not recorded, used by Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1958-2007. Click to enlarge.

Window for viewing radioactive material used by ANSTO

Made 1950s
Lead glass windows such as this one allow operators a viewing port into a hot cell whilst remaining safe and unexposed to harmful radiation.

A hot cell is a heavily shielded room in which radioactive materials can be handled remotely using robotic or otherwise remote manipulators while being viewed through shielded windows. Many hot cells have walls of concrete or metal of a metre or more in thickness. These allow extremely radioactive items to be manipulated without exposing operators to dangerous amounts of radiation.

Hot cells are used to inspect spent nuclear fuel rods and to work with other items which are high-energy gamma ray emitters. For instance, the processing of medical isotopes that have been irradiated in a nuclear reactor or particle accelerator would be carried out in a hot cell.


Written by Erika Dicker
Assistant Curator, 2007.

Summary

Object No.

2007/62/9

Object Statement

Viewing window, for radioactive material, glass / lead, maker unknown, location not recorded, used by Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1958-2007

Physical Description

Lead glass window, used by Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1958-2007

The thick glass has a yellow tinge from the presence of a small amount of cerium. Cerium is added to prevent the glass gradually turning brown from radiation damage. The glass is fitted within a grey lead frame.

Dimensions

Width

235 mm

Depth

115 mm

Production

Made

1950s

Notes

Lead glass is a high density shielding glass that is formulated to provide attenuation of high radioactive fields while presenting a viewing medium into a hot cell of a nuclear reactor. Typically the content of lead oxide in the glass is 65% or more for use in radiation shielding.

Leaded glasses have a very high density due to their lead oxide content. The lead shields a user from the radiation emitted by the isotope. Lead is a particularly effective radiation shield because lead has a high atomic number of 82 and its many electrons absorb the gamma and x rays.

History

Notes

This lead glass window was used in a hot cell at ANTSO between 1958 and 2007.

Source

Credit Line

Gift of Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), 2007

Acquisition Date

13 June 2007

Cite this Object

Harvard

Window for viewing radioactive material used by ANSTO 2020, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 4 August 2020, <https://ma.as/366579>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/366579 |title=Window for viewing radioactive material used by ANSTO |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=4 August 2020 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

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