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research-article

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
dryaar@gmail.com

Rony Hakmon

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

Itzhak Halevy

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

Ronen Bar-Ziv

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

Noah Vainblat

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

Yacov Iflach

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

Maor Assulin

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

Tzipora Avraham

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

Michael D. Kaminski

Argonne National Laboratory, Nuclear Engineering Division, 9700 South Cass Avenue, Lemont, IL, USA
kaminski@anl.gov

Terry Stilman

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, Atlanta, GA, USA
stilman.terry@epa.gov

Serre Shannon

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

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4036458 History: Received November 07, 2016; Revised April 06, 2017

Abstract

One of the preparation steps for a possible radiological attack, is the capability of fast and effective decontamination of critical infrastructures. 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: DeconGelTM and Argonne SuperGel. Tests were conducted at the assigned Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) Israel Defense Forces (IDF) 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 30-90% 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.

Section 4: U. S. Gov Employees
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