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New laser decontamination technique for radioactively contaminated metal surfaces using acid-bearing sodium silicate gel

Kameo, Yutaka ; Nakashima, Mikio; Hirabayashi, Takakuni*

A new laser decontamination method utilizing a gel made from a sodium silicate solution and an acid was developed for removing radioactive nuclide incorporated into a surface oxide layer on metal waste. Decontamination tests were carried out using both simulated contaminated samples and pipe specimens cut from the primary coolant system of the Japan Power Demonstration Reactor. In the case of surface oxide layer consisting mainly of iron oxide, more than 99% of surface radioactivities were removed after two to three decontamination runs. In order to ascertain the role of laser irradiation on chemical reactions, chemical states of O and Fe in the oxide layer before and after decontamination were analyzed by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. It was found that the oxide layer was dissolved into the acid-containing gel, and the reaction was extensively promoted by the laser irradiation.

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Category:Nuclear Science & Technology

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