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Development of decontamination and detergents for the nuclear industry


Abstract

At the enterprises of the radiochemical industry in the world, the task is to clean the technological and research equipment, overalls, and personnel from contamination with radioactive products. This task is especially relevant in case of emergencies, for example, such as an accident at a nuclear power plant in Fukushima, Japan. A review of the deactivation methods currently used is reviewed. It has been shown that the most typical pollutants are mixtures of radionuclides 137Cs, 144Ce, 144Pr, 90Sr, and 239Pu. All these elements are prone to the formation of chelate complexes. Therefore, complexing substances should be an essential component of deactivation solutions that form stable, water-soluble complex compounds with these radionuclides. When creating the recipe, we chose those complexing agents with the most persistent complex compounds with the expected pollutants. For research and testing in real conditions, we have prepared three types of technical detergents of various compositions with the code name MDS for decontaminating various surfaces, equipment, and workwear. The composition of these preparations consists mainly of an optimized mixture of surfactants, complexing agents, corrosion inhibitors, and processing aids. The studies were conducted to evaluate the possibility of using these funds for deactivation of premises, equipment, washing clothes in the Federal Unitary Enterprise “Mayak” and at its branch NIKIET in town Zarechny at Beloyarskyaya Nuclear Power Station in Russia. The effectiveness of deactivation was judged by the amount of residual contamination of the surface of the samples. The deactivating ability of MDS preparations for stainless, carbon steel, and plastic contaminated with β- and α-emitting nuclides was tested. The possibility of using MDS detergents for the deactivation of platinum ampoules stored as radioactive waste was assessed. The possibility of using MDS detergents for the deactivation of fabric materials, including underwear and work clothes, was also evaluated. The tests showed the high efficiency of the developed detergent MDS compared to the existing and currently used deactivation agents.

Keywords

deactivation, decontamination, detergents, chelating complexing agents, radiation pollution, radiation contamination removal, 137Cs, 144Ce, 144Pr, 90Sr, 239Pu

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