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Report No.
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Development of hydrogels for prevention of radioactive dust dispersion during fuel debris retrieval (Contract research); FY2019 Nuclear Energy Science & Technology and Human Resource Development Project

Collaborative Laboratories for Advanced Decommissioning Science; Osaka University*

The Collaborative Laboratories for Advanced Decommissioning Science (CLADS), Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), had been conducting the Nuclear Energy Science & Technology and Human Resource Development Project (hereafter referred to "the Project") in FY2019. The Project aims to contribute to solving problems in the nuclear energy field represented by the decommissioning of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc. (TEPCO). For this purpose, intelligence was collected from all over the world, and basic research and human resource development were promoted by closely integrating/collaborating knowledge and experiences in various fields beyond the barrier of conventional organizations and research fields. The sponsor of the Project was moved from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology to JAEA since the newly adopted proposals in FY2018. On this occasion, JAEA constructed a new research system where JAEA-academia collaboration is reinforced and medium-to-long term research/development and human resource development contributing to the decommissioning are stably and consecutively implemented. Among the adopted proposals in FY2018, this report summarizes the research results of the "Development of hydrogels for prevention of radioactive dust dispersion during fuel debris retrieval" conducted in FY2019. In this study, we propose coating fuel debris with thixotropic gel materials to suppress dust dispersion during debris retrieval. Hectorite clay mineral - borax composite gel was selected based on the viscosity, the transparency and the radiation resistance. Simulated cutting tests confirm that the gel coating effectively suppress the dust dispersion.

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