Lead TechXtract™ Chemical Decontamination at the Hanford Site, Richland, WA

Site Name:

Hanford Site


Richland, WA

Period of

May 1998


Field demonstration


W. Scott Fay
Active Environmental Technologies, Inc.
Phone: (609) 702-1500

Surface Treatment - Lead TechXtract® Chemical Decontamination
- System included three heated ultrasonic baths, two rinse stations with vacuum drying, and a final vacuum drying station
- Ultrasonic baths - electronically heated; 20 in. by 11.5 in. by 11 in.; first two baths contained surface preparation formulations; third bath contained an extraction blend containing chelating agents
- Lead bricks were treated in batches of 4 bricks; batch dwell time was 7 minutes per bath for 13 batches and 5 minutes per batch for 7 batches

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

- alpha and beta/gamma

Waste Source:
Nuclear reactor decommissioning

Type/Quantity of Media Treated:
- 78 lead bricks, each measuring 5 cm x 10 cm x 20 cm

Purpose/Significance of Application:
Field demonstration of a process that uses ultrasonics and chemical baths to remove radioactive contaminants from surfaces

Regulatory Requirements/Cleanup Goals:
- Alpha activity: < 20 dpm/100 cm2 removable, <100 dpm/100 cm2 total
- Beta/Gamma activity: <1,000 dpm/100 cm2 removable, < 5,000 dpm/100 cm2 total
- Treat bricks sufficiently so they can e recycled as scrap lead
- Decontamination rate of over 100 bricks per 5-hour day

- 78 out of 80 bricks processed met the treatment criteria for radioactivity in 3.5 hours, and could be recycled as scrap lead
- Production rate of 220 bricks per 5-hour day achieved
- Estimated secondary residual waste generated was 0.01 gallons per brick, or 6 pounds per ton treated

Cost Factors:
- Estimated costs for treating the 1,956 lead bricks at the Hanford Site were $49,000, compared to $8,770 for the baseline technology of encapsulation and disposal in an on-site landfill.

A demonstration of the Lead TechXtract® chemical decontamination technology was conducted at DOE's Hanford Site. Radioactive-contaminated lead bricks from former Reactor C were used for the demonstration.

The Lead TechXtract® technology uses ultrasonics and chemical baths to remove radioactive contaminants from surfaces. Of the 80 bricks treated, 78 met the cleanup criteria that would allow the bricks to be recycled as scrap lead. The total cost to treat Hanford's inventory of 1,956 bricks using this technology was estimated to be $49,000. No modifications were identified as being needed for the technology for use at the Hanford Site C Reactor. Refinements such as adding a HEPA filter ventilation system to allow more highly contaminated bricks to be processed were identified.