Decommissioning and Decontamination

Every nuclear facility including nuclear reactors and fuel cycle plants will eventually face decommissioning and decontamination. During the decommissioning and decontamination, as a nuclear engineer, the most critical objectives are to reduce the volume of final radioactive waste and to minimize radiological risk to workers. These objectives are closely related to safety, environmental friendliness, and economics. Radioactive aerosols are important contributors to the internal does of workers during decommissioning and decontamination. Recycling of precious metals again in nuclear industry will reduce the footprint of waste disposal, decrease the costs of waste disposal, and minimize the environmental impact of nuclear industry.

The dome of the Saxton Nuclear Experimental Facility in Bedford County, PA, U.S. being taken off in 2001 © Business Korea

Characterization, Simulation, and Prevention of Radioactive Aerosols

Project Description : Radioactive aerosols (like fine dusts) are dominant contributors to internal doe rates during decommissioning or severe accidents of nuclear power plants. Aerosol are colloids of fine solid particles or liquid droplets in air. Radioactive isotopes can be incorporated or trapped in the aerosols. The internal dose is a function of the distribution of aerodynamic diameters and radioactivity since different aerosols sizes deposit in different human organs. The protection of radioactive isotopes needs the characterization of them.

On-going projects :  Characterization of Aerosol from Decommissioning

Precious Metal Decontamination and Recycling to Nuclear Industry

Project Description : Nuclear industry uses the most expensive nuclear-grade alloys such as Zr alloys, Ni alloys in nuclear reactors. The surface of the alloys is radiologically contaminated, or the volume of the alloys is activated by neutrons. These alloys may be recycled to nuclear industry again after decontaminating them using high temperature electrochemistry. The recycling can reduce the volume and costs of final waste disposal while mitigating the production of new radioactive metal pieces.

On-going projects : -

291 Daehak-ro, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 34141,

Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)

Department of Nuclear & Quantum Engineering, Republic of KOREA



K&FC Lab.