Lead Wool Blankets Overview

Lead wool blankets are the industry standard radiation shield product for industrial applications.  They are typically used to create a barrier between a radiological source and the rad worker.  Lead blankets are often hung on scaffold or cables by S-hooks to create a shield wall.  They may also be draped over pipes / valves / heat exchangers or placed on the floor to shield sources from below.

Lead wool blankets are created by forming continuous lead wool rope into the desired shape by use of rollers and dies.  The form is then sewn, quilted, and cross stitched inside a layer of PVC to create a billet.  The billet is RF sealed inside a second layer of PVC, creating waterproof barrier.  The excess PVC is trimmed and grommets are installed.

Lead wool blankets are cost effective, durable, and versatile.

NPO is the leading manufacturer of lead wool blankets in the world and has been manufacturing them since 1976.

Technical Specifications
yellow lead blanket featuring handles and displayed weight with larger grommets for fast and easy installation

PVC Covered Lead Wool Blankets

NPO had workers’ safety and ergonomics in mind when designing our new standard PVC covered lead wool blankets. The new NPO standard PVC covered lead wool blankets feature handles for quicker and easier handling, printing to declare the weight of each lead wool blanket – assuring workers will know how much they are about to lift, along with larger 25mm grommets for simple, speedier installation on racks or scaffolding. This design is one of a kind and will be applied to every NPO manufactured blanket 60 lb (27 kg) or under.

Ordering Info Custom Product Application
Lead Blankets with silicone coated fiberglass withstands high temperatures

High Temp Lead Wool Blankets

Available in various sizes, shapes and weights, NPO’s silicone coated fiberglass coverings can withstand continuous temperatures of 550+ degrees Fahrenheit (288 degrees Celsius). The high temperature lead wool blankets are typically used in high temperature applications and have been used as permanent shielding in some facilities.

Ordering Info

Custom Lead Wool Blankets

Curved Blankets, Magnets, Straps

Custom lead wool blankets can be designed and made with nearly any 2D layout imaginable. Add magnets, Velcro, cutouts, grommets, and cinch straps, and create a blanket truly designed specifically to get the job done.

Nozzle Shielding

NPO has worked with several BWR plants to create bio-door and nozzle shielding. The circular magnetic shielding is designed to fit snuggly around the nozzle. All pieces are made to fit for each plant’s specifications.

Steam Gen Shielding

Custom fit to any plant’s steam generators, these magnetically secured lead wool panels provide shielding between the worker and the side of the steam generator. The magnetism of these blankets allow for quick installation on any carbon steel surface while offering a significant dose reduction.

Lead blanket mobile shield storage container removable lid and side panels lockable and forklift access

Storage Containers

NPO’s lead blankets are flexible and are manufactured in a multitude of sizes, shapes and weights for effective shielding around components. Standard containers are able to be rigged, moved by fork truck, are weather tight, and feature removable lids and side panels for easy loading and unloading. Project specific shielding such as dry cask or steam generator sludge lancing blankets available upon request.

Ordering Info Custom Product Application
Serpentine Rack adjustable freestanding shielding system hanging lead blankets and can be linked together

Heavy Duty Support Racks

NPO’s serpentine system is designed to provide virtually any shielding wall configuration, including low dose waiting areas, portable frisking caves, shadow shield walls, and shields for rad materials transfers.

This sturdy and adjustable system was designed to replace scaffolding, currently used to hang lead blankets. By placing the installation process in the hands of the RP department, setup time and potentially critical path time is saved.

The serpentine racks are adjustable from 6′ to 8′ (1.83 m to 2.44 m) tall, and link to one another to form a solid, continuous shield wall. Each rack sits on heavy duty casters with foldable steel support legs and is capable of holding 2880 lb (1306 kg) of shielding blankets. Serpentine racks have been seismically qualified.

Ordering Info
lightweight shielding racks with carbon steel hooks for lead blankets are linkable and easy to carry

Light Duty Support Racks

Light Duty racks are an easier to deploy, much lighter weight shielding rack. Each aluminum rack weighs only 45 lb (20 kg), making it light enough to carry by hand and quick to set up. While the frame is aluminum to keep the weigh down, the hooks are carbon steel and are able to handle the wear and tear of repeated shielding blanket install and uninstall.

These racks are ideal for temporary shielding and keeping dose rates low in areas where it would otherwise be difficult to set up a bulky rack or scaffolding system.

The Light Duty racks are 2′ wide and 6′ tall (0.61 m x 1.83 m), and, like the serpentine racks, can link to one another to form a solid, continuous shield wall. Each rack is capable of holding 550 lb (249 kg) of shielding blankets, and have been seismically qualified.

Ordering Info
cargo net and lattice system with swivel hooks to hang shielding blankets works with pipes and tanks

Cargo Net Lattice System

Substitute scaffolding with lattice webbing and integral swivel hooks. These systems are custom manufactured to work with pipes, tanks, or other applications. The integrated hooks cannot be removed and are spaced to fit the grommet spacing of whatever shielding blankets will be used. These are built to order and can be made in virtually any size.

Larger lattice systems may need integrated steel supports. NPO has built cargo net shield walls as big as 18′ x 24′ (5.49 m x 7.32 m).

S-Hooks carbon steel or stainless steel for shielding blankets. Cinch and Ratchet strap secure shielding in place.

Hooks and Straps

NPO carries S-Hooks in a variety of standard sizes in both carbon steel and stainless steel. For added security, spring clips can be added to ensure the blanket cannot fall off the S-Hook. Cinch and ratchet straps also in stock to tie together and hold shielding in place.

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Custom Shielding Applications

Reactor Head Flange Shielding

TVA Sequoyah needed a way to shield the surrounding area of their reactor head while inspection work was being done. To avoid setting up scaffolding or stand alone lead blanket racks that would take up valuable floor space, NPO designed lead blanket racks that would make use of the stud holes of the reactor head […]

RadVision3D – LaSalle Case Study

In the scope of one job, LaSalle Generating Station saved 12 Rem (120 mSv) through the use of 3D gamma radiation source mapping and intervention analysis, RadVision3D. The Reactor Water Cleanup valve is an Anchor Darling valve that needed to be breached and have the internals replaced during a refuel outage. It is located in a […]

Core Barrel Shielding

In 2013 NPO designed and built a custom Core Barrel Shield for Palisades Nuclear Plant in Covert, MI.  The shielding was implemented in Palisades’ 23rd refueling outage and was a great success.  The story of the project’s success spread in May 2015 when the Palisades plant was recognized during the Nuclear Energy Institute’s best industry practice […]

Carrying Lead Blankets for Fun

How many times in your career have you seen someone excited to carry lead blankets?  At “The Combine” hosted by Frontline OCR and the local USMC recruiting office, there were more than you could count.  Frontline OCR’s mission is “To create a race that replicates the demands that our first responders and military personnel experience […]

Saint-Alban Steam Generator Shielding

EDF Saint-Alban plant, located in Saint-Maurice-l’Exil, France, collaborated with NPO Europe to address a few opportunities for shielding the steam generators during sludge lancing operations. Saint-Alban wanted to reduce shielding installation and removal time from the benchmark of 5.5 hours, reduce total project dose from 476 mRem (4,760 μSv), and remove the physical clutter of […]

Bio-Shield Door Shielding

Limerick Generating Station was in need of custom shielding for their bio-shield doors. Even though shielding was already installed, there was still a gap that continued to be a source of dose. NPO worked closely with ALARA Specialist, Joe Bruno, at Limerick to design a 4-piece magnetic set of custom lead blankets. Each piece had […]