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J Hazard Mater. 2013 Jun 15;254-255:98-106. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2013.03.038. Epub 2013 Mar 23.

The impact of radioactive steel recycling on the public and professionals.

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  • 1Institute of Nuclear and Physical Engineering, Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava, Ilkovicova 3, 812 19 Bratislava, Slovakia. hrncir@decom.sk


The decommissioning of nuclear power plants represents a complex process resulting in the generation of large amounts of waste materials, e.g. steel scrap containing various concentrations of radionuclides. Recycling some of these materials is highly desirable due to numerous reasons. Herein presented scenarios of recycling of radioactive steel within the nuclear as well as civil engineering industry are analyzed from the radiation protection point of view. An approach based on the dose constraints principle is chosen. The aim of the study is to derive conditional clearance levels (maximal specific mass activity of material allowing its recycling/clearance) for analyzed radionuclides ensuring that the detrimental impact on human health is kept on a negligible level. Determined conditional clearance levels, as the result of performed software calculations, are valid for the reuse of radioactive steel in four selected scenarios. Calculation results indicate that the increase of the amount of recyclable radioactive steel due to its reuse in specific applications may be feasible considering the radiation impact on the public and professionals. However, issues connected with public acceptance, technical difficulties and financing of potential realization are still open and they have to be examined in more detail.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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