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Technology Factsheet

Portable Tritium Cleanup Cart

Category: Decontamination > Chemical Surface Cleaning > Catalytic Extraction Process
Reference # : OST/TMS No 2974, DOE/EM-1089 Model No :

The Tritium Cleanup Cart was purposely designed to emulate common deactivation and decommissioning scenarios. As such, the Tritium Cleanup Cart was successfully used (in conjunction with the glovebox, tritium monitor) to interrogate glovebox tritium levels and to determine when effluent scrubbing was leveling off. When leveling-off occurred, a “saturation” technique was employed to liberate more tritium. This technique consisted of spraying down the glovebox interior with ammoniated window cleaner. This operation initially spiked the tritium levels inside the glovebox, whereupon the Tritium Cleanup Cart was used to scrub the free tritium until the levels stabilized again. The process was done numerous times until the spraying had minimal impact on the tritium levels inside the box, indicating that most of the readily released tritium was removed via the scrubbing process. Shortly before the Tritium Cleanup Cart demonstration was deemed complete, warm moist air was introduced into the glovebox environment, again in an attempt to free as much of the surface-bound tritium as possible. This action liberated minimal additional tritium, and the glovebox was deemed ready for ventilating shortly thereafter. At this point in the process, most deactivation and decommissioning projects would open the glovebox to the facility stack, and the glovebox disposition preparation operation would be deemed complete.

Benefits

Major benefits of the equipment include its portability, ease of assimilation into the work environment, and efficiency in performing the demonstration described.

Limitations

The Mound site has mainly 220-vac in the chosen demonstration location and the Tritium Cleanup Cart requires a 208-volt, 30-ampere, 3-phase power source. To supply this, a portable transformer was brought in and electrically wired to the Tritium Cleanup Cart. This transformer was located on the Mound site and was supplied for the demonstration free of charge. The only additional cost was to have an electrician wire the transformer. If the Tritium Cleanup Cart is going to be used at another site, a transformer may have to be purchased.

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