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Special Section Papers

Evaluation of Hydrogel Technologies for the Decontamination of 137Cs From Building Material Surfaces

[+] Author and Article Information
Ilan Yaar

Nuclear Research Center Negev (NRCN),
P.O. Box 9001,
Beer-Sheva 84190, Israel
e-mail: dryaar@gmail.com

Rony Hakmon

Nuclear Research Center Negev (NRCN),
P.O. Box 9001,
Beer-Sheva 84190, Israel
e-mail: ronih13@walla.com

Itzhak Halevy

Nuclear Research Center Negev (NRCN),
P.O. Box 9001,
Beer-Sheva 84190, Israel
e-mail: halevy.itzhak.dr@gmail.com

Ronen Bar-Ziv

Nuclear Research Center Negev (NRCN),
P.O. Box 9001,
Beer-Sheva 84190, Israel
e-mail: bar-ziv@hotmail.com

Noah Vainblat

Nuclear Research Center Negev (NRCN),
P.O. Box 9001,
Beer-Sheva 84190, Israel
e-mail: vnoah1@gmail.com

Yacov Iflach

Nuclear Research Center Negev (NRCN),
P.O. Box 9001,
Beer-Sheva 84190, Israel
e-mail: veryac@inter.net.il

Maor Assulin

Nuclear Research Center Negev (NRCN),
P.O. Box 9001,
Beer-Sheva 84190, Israel
e-mail: Maorassulin@walla.co.il

Tzipora Avraham

Nuclear Research Center Negev (NRCN),
P.O. Box 9001,
Beer-Sheva 84190, Israel
e-mail: habird1@gmail.com

Michael D. Kaminski

Argonne National Laboratory,
Nuclear Engineering Division,
9700 South Cass Avenue,
Lemont, IL 60439
e-mail: kaminski@anl.gov

Terry Stilman

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
Region 4,
Atlanta, GA 30303
e-mail: stilman.terry@epa.gov

Shannon Serre

National Homeland Security Research,
Center Office of Research and Development,
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
Mail Code E343-06,
Research Triangle Park, NC 27711
e-mail: serre.shannon@epa.gov

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received November 7, 2016; final manuscript received April 6, 2017; published online May 25, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Jean Koch. This material is declared a work of the U.S. Government and is not subject to copyright protection in the United States. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.

ASME J of Nuclear Rad Sci 3(3), 030909 (May 25, 2017) (8 pages) Paper No: NERS-16-1153; doi: 10.1115/1.4036458 History: Received November 07, 2016; Revised April 06, 2017

One of the preparation steps for a possible radiological attack is the capability of fast and effective decontamination of critical infrastructure. This study describes the implementation of a test plan at an intermediate scale (between bench scale and large scale or wide area) to evaluate decontamination procedures, materials, technologies, and techniques for removal of radioactive material from various surfaces. Two radioisotopes were tested: cesium-137 (137Cs) and the short-lived simulant to 137Cs, rubidium-86 (86Rb). Two types of decontamination hydrogel products were evaluated: DeconGel™ and Argonne SuperGel. Tests were conducted at the assigned Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) Israel Defense Forces (IDFs) Home Front Command facility, and at the Nuclear Research Center Negev (NRCN), Israel. Results from these tests indicated similar removal and operational parameters for 86Rb and 137Cs, as expected from the chemical similarity of both elements. These results proved that the short-lived radioisotope 86Rb can be used in future experiments to simulate 137Cs. Results and conclusions from these experiments are presented and compared to results from laboratory-scale experiments performed on small coupons. In general, both hydrogel decontamination products may be used as a viable option to decontaminate large surfaces in a real-world event, removing between 30% to 90% of the contamination, depending on the surface type and porosity. However, both products may leave behind absorbed contamination that will need to be addressed at a later stage. Yet, the likelihood of resuspension through use of these products is reduced.

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References

Figures

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Fig. 1

One of the IsoArk decontamination isolation chambers inside the CBRN building in Ramla

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Fig. 2

(a) Two inch NaI(Tl) PM-11 scintillation detector surrounded by 40-mm lead shield (white block) and mounted on wheels. (b) Lower part of the detector shield facing the measured surface. Detector face shown at the center is shielded by 1 mm of copper.

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Fig. 3

Decontamination results measured for the radioisotope 86Rb, on ceramics surface using DeconGel™

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Fig. 4

Decontamination results measured for the radioisotope 86Rb, on concrete surface using Argonne SuperGel

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Fig. 5

86Rb calculated %R map plotted after the first and the second decontamination process, for ceramics surface and DeconGel™

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Fig. 6

86Rb calculated %R map plotted after the first and the second decontamination process, for concrete surface and Argonne SuperGel

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