Radiochemistry routine operation
Radiochemistry in the nuclear industry involves the study and application of chemical processes involving radioactive materials. It plays a crucial role in various aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle, nuclear power generation, and other nuclear-related activities. It is used to characterise the radionuclide inventory in coolant or effluent streams, in case of monitored levels reaching a threshold level. Tritium and gross radioactivity are monitored from air, liquids, and surfaces using contamination monitoring techniques with Hidex Triathler or Hidex 300SL.
Dose of the operating staff is monitored with both personal dose rate meters, as well as internal contamination measurements. Hidex offers unique solutions for Tritium measurement in urine, which is conventionally a challenging topic. Our ULLA and 300SL instruments utilize TDCR technology in Tritium urine assay.
Radioactive waste management
Radioactive waste is a by-product generated by various industries, with well-known sources including nuclear power plants, where nuclear fuel is spent. It also results from the scientific use of radioactive materials in fundamental research, as well as in applications related to life science research and chemical testing. In recent times, an increasing amount of radioactive waste is being generated by nuclear medicine for diagnostic and therapeutic isotopes. This waste can be categorized into different types based on its activity level, ranging from very high activity waste to intermediate activity waste, low activity waste, and very low activity waste. These distinctions guide decisions regarding disposal, reprocessing, or long-term storage options.
Prior to the disposal or processing of radioactive waste, a comprehensive characterization is required. This characterization involves evaluating the activity level, identifying specific isotopes present, and understanding the types of materials involved.
Hidex offers a wide range of instruments for analysing radioactive waste. Sample preparation equipment such as OX 600 and Q-ARE are employed to determine the binding of radioactive isotopes within construction materials and to automatically separate individual radioactive isotopes in various sample matrices.
Our liquid scintillation counters are used to measure gross alpha and beta activities, as well as the activity of individual isotopes. Hidex's portable Triathler liquid scintillation counter can be utilized for initial screening of surface contamination on transport vessels used for transferring radioactive waste between management sites.
Nuclear decommissioning is the process of completely or partially closing down a nuclear facility, typically a nuclear reactor. This process is directed by a decommissioning plan, which encompasses the disassembly and decontamination of the facility with the goal of restoring the environment to its original state, often referred to as Greenfield status.
In the decommissioning project, it is of utmost importance to identify the presence of radioactive isotopes within building materials. While the nuclear facility is in operation, reactor materials may become activated, leading to the incorporation of radioactive elements into materials such as concrete, plastics, resins, oils, and more. Before disposal, all components must be assessed and characterized.
Hidex provides advanced sample preparation equipment that serves as invaluable tools for isolating and characterizing radioisotopes from stable elements. Our Liquid scintillation counters are specially designed for the precise measurement and characterization of low-energy beta particles and alpha isotopes that are difficult to measure.
Our sample preparation equipment and liquid scintillation counters, tailored for accurate characterization, play a vital role in safeguarding the environment and ensuring the responsible handling of radioactive materials in diverse applications across the nuclear industry.