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Decontamination and Decommissioning Experience cont'd - doe-std-1128-98_ch10255
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DOE Standard Guide of Good Practices for Occupational Radiological Protection In Plutonium Facilities
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DOE-STD-1128-98
A number of plutonium-contaminated facilities have been decommissioned at Mound
Laboratory (Bond et al., 1987). Interdepartment management teams, including
representatives from program management, operations, project engineering, maintenance,
technical support, and environmental, safety, and health were established for the D&D
projects. The team met monthly to discuss program status and they met quarterly with DOE
staff. A graded D&D approach was used. First, standard cleaning (e.g., wiping with a damp
cloth) and flushing techniques were used to remove loose contamination. Then, more
aggressive decontamination methods were performed inside temporary enclosures. Finally,
glove boxes and equipment that could not be decontaminated to unrestricted release levels
were cut into sections using a plasma-cutting method and then packaged as waste. The
plasma-cutting method generated less smoke, thus reducing the particulate accumulation on
the HEPA filters.
During cleanup of a plutonium-contaminated storage facility, strippable fixatives were used
as a contamination control and a decontamination method (King, 1980). Fixatives in
combination with cheese cloth were used to clean smooth vertical surfaces and difficult-to-
reach areas. The cheese cloth was placed on the area to be cleaned and then sprayed with a
fixative. The cheese cloth and fixative were then stripped from the surface, removing
contamination in the process. Accidental criticalities can be a concern when disposing of
this material that contains fissile material contamination, as discussed in Section 8.0, and
criticality safety specialists should be consulted. Facility personnel also need to determine
if the fixative is classified as a hazardous material and dispose of it accordingly.
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