Reactor Surface Contaminant Stabilization at the Hanford Site, C Reactor, Richland, WA

Site Name:

Hanford Site


Richland, WA

Period of

August 1997 - March 1998


Field demonstration


Don Koozer
Master-Lee Engineering
Phone: (509) 783-3523

Marc Azure
RedHawk Environmental
Phone: (509) 946-8606

Surface Treatment - Spray Applied Polymer Coatings
- Two coating systems tested
- Master-Lee system is a one-coating polymeric film 2.8 mm thick
- Redhawk system is a two-coating - a polyurethane foam base layer covered by a polyurea film

Cleanup Authority:
Not identified

Management Contact:
Jeff Bruggerman
U.S. Department of Energy
Phone: (509) 372-4029
Technical Contact:
Greg Gervais
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Phone: (206) 764-6837


Waste Source:
Nuclear reactor decommissioning

Type/Quantity of Media Treated:
- Initial test on rusted mild steel and stainless steel metal coupons measuring 7.6 centimeter (CM) x 7.6 cm x 1.5 mm
- Demonstration test on 3 x 3 array of 9 nozzle assemblies on reactor face

Purpose/Significance of Application:
Field demonstration of surface coating to stabilize contaminated surfaces to avoid airborne contamination during decontamination and decommissioning

Regulatory Requirements/Cleanup Goals:
- No specific cleanup goals identified for the demonstration
- Objectives of the demonstration included demonstrating complete coverage over complex shapes and greater performance than baseline technology, Rust-Oleum No. 769 coating
- Performance measurements included tests of adhesion, thermal aging, radiation aging, thermal cycling, biodegradation, air permaeability, and moisture permeability

- All three technologies tested (baseline, 1-coat, and 2-coat) passed performance tests for aging resistance
- The baseline technology and 1-coat processes demonstrated incomplete coverage over complex shapes
- The 2-coat process demonstrated complete coverage, and fast curing at ambient temperatures, but was more expensive and required additional labor and training to apply
- The baseline technology and 1-coat system may be applicable to flatter surfaces

Cost Factors:
- Estimated costs to coat the entire reactor face (2,044 nozzle assemblies, 196 square meters) were $64,000 for the 2-coat system and $20,900 for the baseline technology

The Hanford Site produces nuclear material and components for weapons systems. The demonstration was conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science and Technology to evaluate their potential to stabilize contaminated surfaces, such as the face of a nuclear reactor, to avoid airborne contamination during decontamination and decommissioning activities.

The baseline coating and one-layer coating did not completely cover nozzle assemblies on the reactor face. However, the two-layer coating system, consisting of a base layer of foam covered by an outer layer of polymeric film, was successful. The baseline technology would cost about 33% as much as the innovative technology cost of $64,000 to stabilize the entire Hanford C reactor face, but the baseline system failed to provide complete surface coverage.