Case Study: Nuclear Radioactive Decontamination for decommissioning with Laser Technology
Demonstration at Perma-Fix Northwest Richland Inc.





Demonstration at Perma-Fix Northwest Richland Inc.






Nuclear Radioactive Decontamination for decommissioning with Laser Technology

July 17th, 2019



Case Study conducted by Perma-Fix Northwest Richland Inc.


Allied Scientific Pro develops and manufactures laser cleaning, paint stripping and radioactive waste decontamination systems.

Committed to developing the laser technology as an effective, environmental and user-friendly method for the Nuclear Industry, Allied Scientific Pro is working in collaboration with radioactive waste treatment facilities and nuclear plants.


On July 17, 2018, Allied Scientific Pro visited Perma-Fix Northwest Richland Inc. (PFNW) facility to demonstrate the performance of the LaserBlast-100-RAD system.

Perma-Fix Northwest Richland Inc. (PFNW), operates a radioactive waste treatment facility located in Richland, Washington under the Low Level radioactive waste license WN-I0393-1 issued by the Washington Department of Health (WDOH).  

A sizable portion of the work performed is decontamination, sizing and repackaging of the low level waste.  These processes are intended to provide an environmentally friendly way to reduce the amount of waste that must go for disposal through recycling and return to the industry.  Traditionally, mechanical decontamination methods such as sandblasting, grinding, and polishing, are used.  

Notable attendees during the demonstration included personnel of the nuclear plants and the service suppliers, such as the protection director, the CEO and the vendors.

In a combined effort, Allied Scientific Pro and PFNW performed some measurable testing with a laser decontamination system provided by Allied Scientific Pro.  

Several pieces of radiologically contaminated equipment were provided by PFNW to test the equipment.  A baseline survey was performed by the Radiation Protection Technician to define the “starting point” (Suggestion: “initial dosage or initial contamination”) in the process prior to any decontamination work. Table 1 shows the baseline results.


                                                               


                                                   Table1























Item

Beta Contamination*

Concrete Ecology Block

5,000dpm

Metal Jack Hammer Sleeve (spot 1)

5,000dpm

Metal Jack Hammer Sleeve (spot 2)

3,000dpm

Metal C-Clamp threads

5,000dpm

Metal C-Clamp frame

10,000dpm

Brass/copper/metal Cutting Torch head

15,000dpm

Plate Steel

30,000dpm

Stainless Steel Tote Lid

3,000dpm

Enclosed fiber Lead Blanket

10,000dpm


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Normally, the laser would be accompanied by a vacuum system to remove with the ablated materials. However,  for this demo PFNW’s vacuum system was used to avoid the radioactive contamination of Allied Scientific’s vacuum system. The contamination would have required the vacuum system to be disposed as low level radioactive waste which  was cost prohibitive and unnecessary for this testing.  This vacuum system would add an attribute (suggestion: would add a value)to the decontamination process in relation to the safety of the operator and the contamination control.

In summary, the laser did prove to be an effective tool for the decontamination of radioactively contaminated parts as tested.  It is portable, quiet, creates very little by-products, and is a safer alternative to traditional mechanical decontamination methods. Allied Scientific Pro designs and manufactures laser cleaning systems with 100 watts, 200 watts, 500 watts, and 1000 watts. If you are interested in knowing more please contact one of our sales specialists at sales@alliedscientificpro.com or call 1-800-253-4107.

Visit our dedicated Laser Cleaning Website to learn more

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