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Laser Technology for Remote Treatment of Atomic Equipment

#1294


Investigation of Interaction of Laser Radiation with Radioactive Deposits on the metal Surface and Creation of Experimental Stand for Development of Laser Technology for Remote Treatment of Materials Contaminated with Radioactive Substances at the Atomic

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-RED/Remediation and Decontamination/Environment
  • ENV-RWT/Radioactive Waste Treatment/Environment

Status
3 Approved without Funding

Registration date
17.06.1998

Leading Institute
NPO Astrophysica, Russia, Moscow

Supporting institutes

  • Federal State Unitary Enterprise Research and Development Institute of Power Engineering named after N.A.Dollezhal, Russia, Moscow

Project summary

Scientific and experimental works on investigation of interaction of laser radiation with radioactive deposits on the metal surface are supposed to be performed with the aim of development and experimental verification of laser technology for remote deactivation of radiation-contaminated equipment of the atomic power plants (APP) operating or being removed from service. Solution of this problem corresponds to the aims of the International Scientific and Technology Center (ISTC) in the applied fields of investigation and technical designs for providing radiation safety and environment control.

Realization of this project will stimulate the reserarch works in civil areas.

It is known that due to replacement of the APP equipment units the large volumes of the used high quality metal are formed. For utilization of the metal, its subsequent safe storage or reusing in industry it is necessary to perform previous decontamination of the metal surface by removal and collection of corrosion radioactive products from the surface. In addition the problem of removing APP from service becomes increasingly important because of the need for decontamination of hundred thousand square meters of the contaminated equipment surface.

The existing methods of solving the problem are based on chemical and electro-chemical deactivation of the metal pipes and cavities. Besides the high cost, the main disadventage of these methods is a great volume of the liquid radioactive wastes (LRW) отходов demanding for reprocessing and burial as well as the necessity of performing a set of radiation and ecological protective measures.

The advantages of the proposed technology based on destruction of radioactive oxide film under thermal effect of laser radiation and removal of destruction products from the surface, being treated are follows: on the hand minimization of the volumes of the solid radioactive wastes of cleaning (for example up to 40 g of material could be removed from one square meter) and, on the other hand, possibility of remote decontamination of radioactive surfaces and cavities of the complex form.

For comparison, under the commonly used chemical deactivation of the metal pipes and cavities of the multiple forced circulation circuit of the APP with a reactor of RBMK-type the volum of the LRW is about 6000 м3. Under laser decontamination the volume of solid radioactive wastes will be as small as 1.5 m3.

Realization of the project will allow to provide:


— development and experimental verification of new advanced laser technology for treatment of APP equipment contaminated with radioactive substances;
— creation of scientific base for introduction of the advanced ecologically clean laser technologies into a such important as to radiation safety area as atomic power engineering;
— development of the principles for providing radiation safety (including technology for removing the products of cleaning) when operating with laser sources at the APP and other atomic industry objects.

In addition to decontamination the proposed laser technology offers the possibility of cutting the equipment, remote control of the cutting and decontamination processes as well as provides other advantages (minimization of the volume of radioactive wastes when cleaning the equipment; returning the decontaminated metal into any industry for unrestricted reusing; enhancement of radiation safety when performing repair and regulation works etc.).

The part of the project will be based only on the valid and verified technical approaches used in in the similar laser systems. The proposed technology provides the use of the advanced compact solid-state lasers as radiation sources.

Development of the systems for removing and collecting radioactive wastes will be performed on the base of the known methods and in accordance with requirements on radiation safety accepted in the Russia Federation.

The proposed project will provide for two years alternative employment of the scientists and engineers related with development of the special-purpose laser systems and reactors for transportable APP.


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