Removable Polymeric Covers for Decontamination
Development of Technology and Complex of Technical Devices for Effective Localization and Decontamination of Chemical and Radioactive Environmental Pollutions by Method of Removable Polymeric Covers
Tech Area / Field
- ENV-RED/Remediation and Decontamination/Environment
- ENV-RWT/Radioactive Waste Treatment/Environment
3 Approved without Funding
VNIIEF, Russia, N. Novgorod reg., Sarov
- NIKIMT (Institute of Assembly Technology), Russia, Moscow
- Sandia National Laboratories, USA, NM, Albuquerque
Project summaryGoal of the Project is development of technology and complex of technical devices for effective localization and decontamination of chemical and radioactive environmental pollutions by the method of removable polymeric covers.
The procedures of handling of potentially hazardous objects, which are carriers of harmful chemical and radioactive substances (compositions of high-density metals, transuranium elements, etc.), are inevitably associated with situations (accidents, catastrophes, natural cataclysms, etc.) when destruction (loss of tightness) of these objects is possible, and, as a consequence, these substances are released into the environments. Besides, at present unstable political situation in the world, there is a certain probability of deliberate terrorist actions by various extremist groups with threat of radioactive and chemical pollution of the environments.
For remediation of consequences of chemical and radioactive pollution, the chemical method of decontamination is currently of common use. As a rule, solutions of strong acids are used as decontaminating means in this case. It causes certain difficulties due to risk for the environments (recycling or disposal of decontaminating solutions), and because of destructive effect of acids on various structural materials.
One of the most promising modern decontamination methods is the dry method with the help of removable polymeric coverings (PC).
This method consists in applying of a polymeric composition on a polluted surface. After drying, the polymeric composition as a film is removed together with pollution. Then it is tightly converted (compacted, if necessary) and disposed as solid chemical or radioactive wastes. This method enables to reach tens - hundred times reduction of wastes quantities, to improve environmental safety of disposal places.
The employed polymers contain softeners, surface-active substances and special additives. Water, water-organic or organic solutions of polymers are used as a film-forming base.
In Russia, the experience in application of removable polymeric coverings was got, mostly, during remediation of consequences of the accident at Chernobyl’ Nuclear Power Plant. This experience proved high efficiency of the method. At the same time, practical application of PC revealed several very important problems. The basic of them are the following:
- Low efficiency of decontaminating properties of these removable films for sparingly soluble compositions of high-density metals, especially transuranium elements.
- Absence of appropriate technical means for efficient decontamination of chemically and radioactively polluted sites.
The efforts planned within the framework of the Project are, first of all, aimed to solve these urgent and important problems. Also it is planned to study localizing and decontaminating properties of various polymeric film compositions depending on characteristics of pollution and a surface to be decontaminated.
Special attention in the Project will be paid to technology of localization and decontamination of sparingly soluble and strongly fixed compositions of various chemically and radioactively hazardous elements, namely, compositions of cadmium, chrome, beryllium, mercury, transuranium elements, as elements from the list of most hazardous for the environments.
It is planned to develop recommendations on technology for applying decontaminating polymeric coverings under various conditions, and on creation of a mobile complex of technical means for efficient decontamination of polluted sites.
The mobile complex of technical means will be recommended for equipping of special emergency-technical services and teams for urgent decontamination of chemical and radioactive pollutions; for stabilization of radiation conditions at repairs and accidental efforts, at conservation of units of atomic equipment after functioning in order to reduce loading doses for personnel, and to prevent non-authorized growth of chemical or radioactive pollution in the environments.