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Performance assessment of HEPA filter against radioactive aerosols from metal cutting during nuclear decommissioning

  • Lee, Min-Ho (Department of Nuclear and Quantum Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology) ;
  • Yang, Wonseok (Department of Nuclear and Quantum Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology) ;
  • Chae, Nakkyu (Department of Nuclear and Quantum Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology) ;
  • Choi, Sungyeol (Department of Nuclear and Quantum Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology)
  • Received : 2019.07.23
  • Accepted : 2019.10.22
  • Published : 2020.05.25

Abstract

Radioactive aerosols are produced during the cutting of contaminated and activated metals. They must be collected and removed by a high-performing filtration system before releasing to the environment from the decommissioning workplace. The filtration system requires regular replacement to ensure the sufficient removal of radioactive aerosols because its filtration efficiency gradually decreases. This study evaluates the efficiency and lifetime of filters while cutting metals by using a plasma arc cutter. Particularly, this study considers the aerodynamic diameter distribution of number and mass concentrations for aerosols from 6 nm to 10 ㎛ when evaluating the performance of filters. After 20 time reuses for cutting operation performed in a cutting chamber, the removal efficiency is reduced from over 99 to below 93% at 2 ㎛. The results are used to analyze the lifetime of filters, the frequencies of their replacements, and impact on internal radiation dose.

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