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Physical Ways of the Reduction of the Risk of the Radioactive Influence

#KR-1969


Development of methods and equipment of coherent photonics for studying the contact phenomena in demountable elements of constructions of nuclear power plants

Tech Area / Field

  • CHE-RAD/Photo and Radiation Chemistry/Chemistry
  • ENV-WDS/Waste Disposal/Environment
  • ENV-WPC/Water Pollution and Control/Environment
  • FIR-MOD/Modelling/Fission Reactors
  • INF-SOF/Software/Information and Communications
  • INS-MEA/Measuring Instruments/Instrumentation
  • PHY-OPL/Optics and Lasers/Physics

Status
3 Approved without Funding

Registration date
29.08.2011

Leading Institute
Institute of Physics, Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek

Collaborators

  • McMaster University, Canada, ON, Hamilton\nOntario Centers of Excellence, Canada, ON, Ottawa

Project summary

At contact bodies load a micro-relief of rough surface in a zone of their touch irreversibly changes even at macroelastic contact. The micro-relief changes comprise important information of contact surface parameters interacting under the bodies load and at contact pressures distribution. The development of laser photonic methods and equipment will be used to study micro-nano-contact effects in disconnectors and for problems solution concerning interaction of solids with rough surface. These methods and equipment are necessary to solve an important practical problem – disconnectors life time extension in elements of nuclear power plants constructions, and radioactive materials safe storage and transport. It is known that some accidents at atomic power stations in Russia, Canada, France, USA, and Germany occurred due to upper reactor unit disconnectors seal failure. It was established that a disaster of the spaceship “Challenger” was also connected with a disconnector seal failure.

The tail deposits of radioactive waste negatively influence the environment and human, and this fact should be studied in different aspects. First, natural water polluted by radionuclides and other toxic elements should be studied, second, the risk assessment in case of tail deposits destruction or violation, followed by disastrous ecological consequences of trasboundary scales. In recent times the territory of Kyrgyzstan was one of the main sources of natural uranium and rare-earth elements extraction for tsarist Russia and former Soviet Union. Since 1907 the mines and the plants on uranium ores and rare-earth elements with thorium mineralization extraction and processing have operated in mountain and boundary regions of Kyrgyzstan. As a result of long usage of these enterprises the enormous quantity of radioactive waste remained on the earth’s surface as dumps and tail deposits. These tail storages were mainly located within the bounds of inhabited arrays, drainage areas, often just in the riverbeds and floodplains of transboundary rivers, streaming down over valleys across all Central Asia. After a collapse of the Soviet Union major tail deposits were deserted without any control. Storage conditions of radioactive waste are inconsistent with any requirements of ecological safety and pose a threat for the environment and human health.

Goal of the project

The goal of the project is a consolidation of efforts to study regional threats of radioactive contamination and possibilities of new physical technologies for risk decrease of radioactive waste impact on the environment and human.

Technical approach and methodology

One of the general purposes of the project is development methods and equipment of laser photonics for study micro- nano- contact phenomena in in-cut connection and solving problems of mechanical interaction of solid bodies with rough surfaces. These methods and equipment are necessary for solving the important practical problem: maintenance of tightness and increase of reliability and resource of in-cut connections of constructive elements of nuclear power plants. It is known, that a number of failures on nuclear power stations of Russia, Canada, France, USA, Germany was the result of depressurization of demountable joints of the top reactor block. It is ascertained that accident of spacecraft "Challenger" is connected to infringement of condensation of demountable connection also.

To study a degree of the body surface microrelief change the coeherent-optical methods of micro- and nana-photonics will be used for the first time. These are double-exposure holographic and speckle interferometry (including digital speckle interferometry) and speckle photography. In a double-exposure holographic interferometry method the body surface microrelief change between exposures results in decorrelation of retrieved light waves, and consequently, in carrier interference fringes contrast decrease up to their complete disappearance. In a double-exposure speckle photography method the body surface microrelief change between exposures results in decorrelation of speckle structures, as a result of this the Young carrier fringes contrast decreases. Alongside with using carrier interference fringes for contact surface visualization, different schemes of images subtraction will be used. These physical phenomena are put in a basis of developing in this project methods of contact surface sizes and contact pressures distribution determination.

In frameworks of the project, the samples of water (wells, springs, rivers, etc.), bottom sediments, and near-shore soils of the Kara-Balta river basin will be selected and analyzed for chemical, element, and radionuclide composition. Besides, the samples will be selected in control points not connected with activities of Kyrgyz Mining Combine (KMC) for determination of the same components “background” contents.

For solution of project tasks the authors offer the following methods:

  • optical spectral and other methods of analysis for determination of heavy metals, arsenic, and other toxins contents;
  • spectrometry methods, which allow general analysis for radionuclides, which decay is accompanied with -radiation, and determination of basic isotopes content of uranium series: 228Th with -radiation of 212Pb and 228Ra with -radiation of 228Ac;
  • the developed during implementation of the ISTC projects # KR-072-97 and # KR-715 method on the basis of discovery of V.V. Cherdyntsev and P.I. Chalov “Phenomenon of natural separation of 234U and 238U” (# 163 in State register of discoveries of the USSR) allows determine a share of man-caused uranium in natural waters;
  • respective standard and developed during the project fulfillment mathematical programs.

Expected results
  1. The marketed method and designed equipment of coherent laser photonics for decision of the important problem of the diagnostics to reliability of the contact joining in containers and nucleus constructions.
  2. The developed methodology of the drawing to migration departure radioactive production.
  3. The formed map of the spatial distribution radionuclides and accompanying toxins in consequence of water migration from tail deposits.

Role of collaborators:

The work on the project will be implemented at active cooperation with foreign collaborators. Dr. B. Elenkrig and Dr. H. Haugen are well known specialists in the field of laser photonics, and professor J. Luxat is one of the leading specialists in Canada on radiation safety. The cooperation with foreign collaborators will be presented as joint workshops and seminars, publications and conferences reports, scientific and technical information exchange, advertising, international certification, introduction and commercialization of obtained results. The preparation to work in pointed direction is being constantly conducted (see item12 of section 2).

Tasks:

  1. Study of carrier fringes contrast change depending on roughness value, material hardness, and contact pressures (fundamental researches).
  2. Measuring contact surfaces by methods of coherent optics (applied researches).
  3. Measuring contact pressures by coherent-optical methods.
  4. Large-scale researches of uranium, radium, radon and heavy metals distribution in ecological situation of region under study.
  5. Database creation on ecological state of separate sites and objects in region under study.
  6. Creation of mathematical model of separate toxic elements transport , which pollute the environment.

Planned work is agreed with the ISTC purposes because the project provides for researches connected with the assessment and consequent development of recommendations for prevention of aftermaths against hazardous technologies, negatively impacting the environment.


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