Alternative Decontamination Solutions
Category: Decontamination > Chemical Surface Cleaning > Chemical Foams or Gels
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Improvements in the decontamination of items from the treatment of medium active liquors have been identified. Currently, items are decontaminated through heated washes with nitric acid. However, some items, suspected to be coated with organic material, have not been cleaned to the desired levels. Alternative decontamination solutions have been trialed including hydrogen peroxide-nitric acid mixes and propriety chemical cleaners. These will be compared against water, nitric acid (current decontamination solution) and standard detergents. Test-material grease is added to representative coupons that are then placed in a simulated decontamination cycle. Trials are being carried out in laboratory scale tests that mirror the conditions in the Effluent Plants Maintenance Facility decontamination vessel as closely as possible. The temperature and concentrations are being kept the same and as is the ratio of the tank volume to the surface area of the item to be decontaminated. The results are being assessed and will be used to implement an improved decontamination regime. Successful decontamination of this equipment may allow it to be reused in the same plants from which they have been recovered but would also allow for most of the activity to be removed from waste items ensuring the radioactive material is controlled. All radioactive liquors generated from the decontamination process are fed to the Enhanced Actinide Removal Plant where the activity is removed from the water, prior to discharge to the sea.
-Improved decontamination regime. -Radioactive material controlled. -Allows the reuse of recovered equipment.
This technology is under development and is not commercially available yet.