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Report No.
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Physical property investigation of gloves for glove boxes in nuclear fuel reprocessing plants; Physical properties of used gloves and estimation of its life-time

Yamamoto, Masahiko   ; Nishida, Naoki ; Kobayashi, Daisuke; Nemoto, Ryo*; Hayashi, Hiroyuki*; Kitao, Takahiko ; Kuno, Takehiko 

Glove-box gloves, that are used for handling nuclear fuel materials at the Tokai Reprocessing Plant (TRP) of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, have an expiration date by internal rules. All gloves are replaced at a maximum of every 4-year. However, degrees of glove deterioration varies depending on its usage environment such as frequency, chemicals, and radiation dose. Therefore, physical properties such as tensile strength, elongation, hardness of gloves are measured and technical evaluation method for the glove life-time is established. It was found that gloves without any defects in its appearance have enough physical properties and satisfies the acceptance criteria values of new gloves. Thus, it was considered that the expired gloves could be used for total of 8-year, by adding 4-year of new glove life-time. In addition, the results of extrapolation by plotting the glove's physical properties versus the used years showed that the physical properties at 8-year is on the safer side than the reported physical properties of broken glove. Also, the data are not significantly different from the physical properties of the long-term storage glove (8 and 23 years). Based on these results, life-time of gloves at TRP is set to be 8-year. The frequency of glove inspections are not changed, and if any defects is found, the glove is promptly replaced. Thus, the risk related to glove usage is not increased. The cost of purchasing gloves, labor for glove replacement, and the amount of generated waste can be reduced by approximately 40%, respectively, resulting in more efficient and rationalized glove management.

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