Refurbishment of the tritium laboratories at SCK•CEN

Kris Dylst, Johan Braet, Aimé Bruggeman, Sven Vanderbiesen

    Research outputpeer-review


    SCK•CEN's general management has decided to refurbish the laboratories. A new ventilation system, including a stack and gloveboxes equipped with a detritiation installation, will allow a higher tritium inventory limit of 0.37 PBq. This paper discusses the ongoing refurbishment of the two neighbouring SCK•CEN tritium laboratories. Currently one laboratory has been denuclearised whilst the other is still in operation and a number of conclusions can already be drawn. The Belgian authority and nuclear control agency only accepted a tritium free release limit based on removable surface tritium contamination of less than 4 Bq/dm². This rigorously low limit made the free release of the laboratory's equipment extra labour intensive. A reasonable free release limit of 250 Bq/dm² would have led to fewer disposals of materials as nuclear waste and less generation of secondary nuclear waste. Nevertheless we succeeded in denuclearising most of the equipment, waste and infrastructure without the personnel having received measurable doses of tritium. It has been estimated that if the free released metals were disposed to a nuclear melting facility 22% of the costs could have been saved, but free release might be more socially acceptable.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationEuropean Working Group "Hot Laboratories and Remote Handling" Proceedings
    Place of PublicationJülich, Germany
    StatePublished - 9 Jan 2007
    Event2006 - HOTLAB: Plenary meeting - Jülich
    Duration: 19 Sep 200621 Sep 2006


    Conference2006 - HOTLAB

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