Lewis, A., Warwick, P.E. and Croudace, I.W.
Penetration of tritium (as tritiated water vapour) into low carbon steel and remediation using abrasive cleaning.
Journal of Radiological Protection, 25, (2), . (doi:10.1088/0952-4746/25/2/004).
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The UKAEA Winfrith site is in a phase of accelerated decommissioning and de-licensing which will generate significant volumes of metal wastes some of which may be suitable for disposal as exempt wastes. If contamination is present, it is often confined within the surface layers of the metal. The UKAEA Winfrith site operates a shot-blast facility (WACM) that removes paint and surface contamination from low carbon steel enabling surface contaminated painted metal to be processed and therefore certified as exempt. A study was conducted to determine whether tritium (as tritiated water vapour) has penetrated into the metal to levels exceeding the Radioactive Substances Act (1993), Substances of Low Activity (SoLA) Exemption Order criteria, and whether processing via the WACM removes sufficient tritium contamination that the SoLA Exemption Order criteria can be met. The results of sampling and analysis show that the tritium is mainly held in the paint or outer 40 µm layer of the metal and that processing through the WACM removes these layers along with sufficient tritium to meet the SoLA Exemption Order criteria.
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