Journal of Hazardous Materials, Vol.340, 454-462, 2017
Remediation of Cs-137 contaminated concrete using electrokinetic phenomena and ionic salt washes in nuclear energy contexts
This work describes the first known the use of electrokinetic treatments and ionic salt washes to remediate concrete contaminated with Cs-137. A series of experiments were performed on concrete samples, contaminated with K+ and Cs-137, using a bespoke migration cell and an applied electric field (60V potential gradient and current limit of 35 mA). Additionally, two samples were treated with an ionic salt wash (<= 400 mol m(-3) of KCl) alongside the electrokinetic treatment. The results show that the combined treatment produces removal efficiencies three times higher (>60%) than the electrokinetic treatment alone and that the decontamination efficiency appears to be proportional to the initial degree of contamination. Furthermore, the decontamination efficiencies are equivalent to previous electrokinetic studies that utilised hazardous chemical enhancement agents demonstrating the potential of the technique for use on nuclear licensed site. The results highlight the relationship between the initial contamination concentration within the concrete and achievable removal efficiency of electrokinetic treatment and other treatments. This information would be useful when selecting the most appropriate decontamination techniques for particular contamination scenarios. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.