Servizio Comunitario di Informazione in materia di Ricerca e Sviluppo - CORDIS

Removal of radioactivity contaminated soil

As part of the rehabilitation of soils and surfaces after an accident (RESSAC) programme on possible countermeasures to be taken following a nuclear accident, the biomechanical removal of contaminated soil has been considered. The contaminated area would be seeded by helicopter with a mixture of turfing plant seeds, peat, polysaccharides, fertilizers and water since the migration rate of radioactive particles through the soil from the surface is slow grass left to grow for about a year will have trapped the majority of the contaminated particles in the dense root network. The turf, together with the top 1 to 2 cm of soil, can then be removed mechanically by a turf cutting machine and taken away for storage or decontamination. This has the advantage of removing a fairly limited volume of the soil as waste. Moreover the biodegradation of organic matter in the waste will improve leaching and chelating of caesium and strontium from the waste pile.

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Andre JOUVE
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