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Decontamination of Radioactive Metal Surfaces by Plasma Arc Gouging

Osamu Kuriyama, Takao Koyama, Makoto Kikuchi

Nuclear Technology

Volume 61 / Number 1 / April 1983 / Pages 93-99


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Experiments have been carried out to develop a new decontamination method that applies plasma arc gouging for removal of a thin surface layer from radioactively contaminated metallic wastes. Plasma arc gouging has been carried out on stainless steel and carbon steel pipes. The torch nozzle and gouging angle have been optimized to increase the decontamination rate. A water film is formed on the pipe surface to reduce both dust concentration in the off-gas and prevent slag particles, which are splashed up by the plasma gas, from adhering to the gouged surface. Using chromium-electroplated carbon steel pipes as samples, a decontamination factor of >103 is obtained after gouging to a depth of ∼0.5 mm in combination with ultrasonic cleaning.

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