Separation/removal of steel surface coating film by laser cleaning
Yamane, Ikumi; Takahashi, Nobuo; Sawayama, Kengo; Nishiwaki, Hiroki; Matsumoto, Takashi; Ogawa, Jumpei; Nomura, Mitsuo; Arima, Tatsumi*
We have dismantled uranium enrichment facilities in Ningyo-toge Environmental Engineering Center since their operation finished in 2001, and the total amount of metallic wastes is estimated to be about 130 thousand tons. Eighty percent of them can be disposed as nonradioactive waste (NR), but there are some steel parts possibly uranium-contaminated. We need removing painted surface of such steels and radiologically surveying to dispose them as NRs. Though painted surfaces have been conventionally removed through hand working with grinders, this manual work requires installation of green house, protective clothing, and full-face mask, in order to prevent dispersion and inhalation of airborne dusts. We desire further developments of surface cleaning techniques to reduce time, cost, workload, and secondary waste generation caused by excessive grinding. Therefore, in this study, we focused on the laser cleaning technology used for the separation and removal of paint films at construction sites. In order to improve the coating separation and removal technology for NR objects, we evaluated the coating separation and removal performance of NR steel surface by laser cleaning system, observed the coating scattering behavior by high-speed camera and investigated the coating recovery method, evaluated the laser separation and removal performance of steel surface powder, and thermodynamically evaluated the uranium compounds on steel surface. We additionally evaluated the feasibility of laser cleaning techniques in our works basing on these results, and discussed future work plans for further developments of laser cleaning techniques.