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50 years of radiation shielding

Some 50 years ago Sweden’s first oncological clinic was built using magnetite in the concrete for walls with radiation shielding properties.

By using Minelco MagnaDense (back then it was magnetite from LKAB) the walls of such treatment rooms could be thinner whilst still offering solid and reliable radiation shielding.

Lars Jonsson 84, pictured, a radio physicist who was involved in building Sweden’s first hospital with magnetite filled walls at the University Hospital in Umeå says “the magnetite came from Kiruna, LKAB was able to provide what we wanted”.

Fifty years later, in 2010, the 2nd generation clinic for radiation treatment of cancer was officially opened at Umeå.  The walls of which were constructed using Minelco MagnaDense for radiation shielding.

Lars explains why magnetite is so efficient in this application.  “We needed buildings sealed extremely tightly for such a great amount of energy in order to eliminate the risk of radiation leakage”.  Lars was the man who initiated the study to see how well magnetite performed in this application the result of which was very positive.

Thousands of cancer patients have passed through the solid walls of Umeå’s first oncological clinic. Lars said upon visiting Umeå “ the structure has held up well.  It’s completely intact.  The fact that the building has been a model for others shows that we were on the right track from the beginning”.

Minelco MagnaDense is a natural mineral that is mined and processed in Sweden by our parent company LKAB.