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An In-situ alpha air monitor for the retrieval of fuel debris at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station

Honda, Fumiya; Tsubota, Yoichi   ; Tamakuma, Yuki*; Tokonami, Shinji*; Ikeda, Atsushi  ; Nakagawa, Takahiro 

A large number of radioactive aerosols, especially alpha particles, are expected to be generated during the fuel debris retrieval on the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. From the viewpoint of preventing contamination of the surrounding environment and the vicinity of the human-access area, it is important to measure the activity concentration of airborne radioactive substances inside the primary containment vessels (PCVs). In particular, it is necessary to monitor the concentration of particulates containing $$alpha$$-nuclides ($$alpha$$-aerosols), which have high effective dose coefficients upon inhalation. This presentation reports the development of an in-situ alpha air monitor (IAAM) for direct measurement of $$alpha$$-aerosols by combining a flat-type flow path (FFP), an air heater, a ZnS scintillator, and a multi anode photomultiplier tube. The monitor should operate under high humidity with the maximum counting rate of approx. 2.1$$times$$10$$^{7}$$ cpm. To achieve the two requirements, the monitor was designed to keep the air sufficiently dry without overheating the detector, and to reduce the detection of coarse particles. This study also conducted a basic performance test using the developed IAAM with a modified FFP. As a result, we could keep the humidity of the air less than 30%RH by heating the inlet of the FFP to 80 $$^{circ}$$C. In addition, by placing the FFP in a vertical position and installing a bend at the air intake port, coarse particles were reduced approx. 1/2-1/3. These achievements enable the monitor to measure $$alpha$$-aerosols more precisely in the viewpoint of internal exposure assessment.

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