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Oxidative Decontamination of Tritiated Materials Employing Ozone Gas

Charles A. Gentile, John J. Parker, Gregory L. Guttadora

Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 41 / Number 3P2 / May 2002 / Pages 700-705

Decontamination and Waste / Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Tritium Science and Technology Tsukuba, Japan November 12-16, 2001 /

The Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory has developed a process by which to significantly reduce surface and near surface tritium contamination from various materials. The Oxidative Tritium Decontamination System (OTDS) reacts gaseous state ozone (accelerated by presence of catalyst), with tritium entrained/deposited on the surface of components (stainless steel, copper, plastics, ceramics, etc.) for the purpose of activity reduction by means of oxidation-reduction chemistry.1 In addition to removing surface and near surface tritium contamination from (high monetary value) components for re-use in non-tritium environments, the OTDS has the capability of removing tritium from the surfaces of expendable items, which can then be disposed of in a less expensive fashion. The OTDS can be operated in a batch mode by which up to approximately 20kg of tritium contaminated (expendable) items can be processed and decontaminated to levels permissible for free release (< 16.66Bq/100cm2). This paper will discuss the OTDS process, the level of tritium surface contamination removed from various materials, and a technique for “deep scrubbing” tritium from sub-surface layers.

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