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During the decommissioning of nuclear installations, important quantities of steel components occur, which cannot be released from radiological surveillance because of their tritium contamination. For this type of steel scrap, a recycling process involving melting, including a real time method for measuring the tritium content, had to be developed. During the melting process, the tritium passes into the exhaust gases where it was quantified in a bypass measuring section. Basically, it was possible to show that steel contaminated with tritium activity can successfully be decontaminated by means of melting.
The laboratory and large scale tests in CARLA plant have shown that the activity can be detected up to 96%, if the air throughput is sufficient. The predominant part of the tritium, more than 96%, is released as HTO or T(2)O in the course of the melting. The tests have shown that the main release already occurs at temperatures below 500 C and that the residual activity of the castings and the slag is negligible. To retain the tritium bonded to the air humidity, drying of the intake air is necessary.

Additional information

Authors: SAPPOK M ET AL, Siempelkamp Gießerei GmbH & Co (DE);SEIDLER M ET AL, NIS Ingenieurgesellschaft (DE)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 16009 DE (1995) 119pp., FS, ECU 13.5
Availability: Available from the (2)
ISBN: ISBN 92-827-5285-2
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