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Models for Calculating the Effects of Isotopic Exchange, Radioactive Decay, and Recycle in Removing Iodine from Gas and Liquid Streams

Wallace Davis, Jr.

Nuclear Science and Engineering

Volume 61 / Number 1 / September 1976 / Pages 11-20


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Different decontamination factors for 129I and 131I are frequently invoked in environmental impact reports concerned with nuclear fuel recycle. Selected differences, or ratios, have not been justified on the basis of mathematical models or experimental data. This report presents a description of the origins of these differences in terms of isotopic exchange and material balance equations for the short- and long-lived (or stable) isotopes. The ratios of decontamination factors can be calculated when there is complete attainment of isotopic exchange between gas- or liquid-phase iodine and iodine sorbed by a solid or liquid. If there is no exchange, decontamination factors are isotope independent unless material recycle occurs within the system. Between these extremes, there can be decontamination factors whose explanation requires experimental determination of the extent of exchange. The model applies to other radioactive isotopes of iodine as well as to other elements with short- and long-lived (or stable) isotopes.

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