Radiation shielding upgrades prove successful at Townsville Hospital

May 24, 2019

Paynters were recently engaged by the Townsville Hospital Health Service (THHS) to undertake radiation shielding upgrade works to allow the progression of the upcoming Cytotoxic Laboratory project.

Works are underway on the three stage project which will see three LINAC (Linear Accelerator) bunker’s located on the ground floor receive upgraded shielding properties to their ceilings. This work has already been a success, with the first bunker completed on time and has successfully reduced radiation levels to the required areas.

Paynters have worked closely with the THHS from preconstruction through to delivery, assisting with the development of the methodology to undertake the works. The basic methodology has consisted of cutting and removing almost ten cubic metres of concrete above each bunker and then replacing it with approximately 40 ton of steel plates, reinforcement and high performance high density concrete. Whilst seemingly simple, the works has involved a specialist diamond wire cutting system, miniature robotic crane and many after hours shifts to avoid disruption to the hospitals regular service. The risk associated with these works was increased substantially by the requirement to manage high volumes of water for the cutting process above multi-million dollar MRI / LINAC machines.

The first stage or bunker reached a critical point on Friday last week with the hospitals Cancer Centre and Biomedical Technology Service (BTS) staff conducting testing and confirming works were a success. Paynters Site Manager Mark Roberts was joined by Dr John Baines (Director, Medical Physics), Dr Mark Lee (Medical Physicist Advanced), Gene Jackson (Senior Medical Physicist) and David Garrott (Medical Physicist) to undertake the required testing and give the green light to place the final layer of concrete.

An incredibly niche & intense project tracking very well, a huge credit to the Paynters North Qld team!

Article provided by Paynters Project Manager, Paul Goldsack.