PREFACE

Radiochemical surveillance of a nuclear power plant is an important part of reactor operations. The plant operator is required to continuously monitor fuel performance, correctly account for release of radioactivity through gas and liquid effluents from the plant, and minimize the exposure of personnel to radiation. To satisfactorily accomplish these tasks, proper training must be given to the plant’s chemists and technicians. A comprehensive textbook and/or manual is needed for their training, as well as for their use as a reference to develop good radiochemical procedures for routine analyses. Unlike a well-developed procedure in a research laboratory, a good procedure for routine analytical work in a nuclear power plant should be simple and easy to follow, yet accuracy should not be compromised. Therefore, the first main objective of this monograph is to provide the plant’s chemists not only with the fundamentals, but also with some major practical procedures collected from many years of reactor experience. However, it must be pointed out that the information contained in this monograph is provided for reference purposes only and is not meant to establish a standard procedure. The second main objective of this monograph is to provide enough fundamental materials for academic professionals to bridge the gap between industry and academia in the area of radiochemistry in nuclear power plants. It also serves as an introduction to professionals in other related fields, such as health physics and nuclear engineering.

This monograph deals with two major types of light water reactors: the boiling water reactor (BWR) and the pressurized water reactor (PWR). The main body describes radiochemical technologies in six major areas: (1) radioactivity production and measurement, (2) fuel performance surveillance and fission product chemistry, (3) the chemistry and transport behavior of activation products, (4) radiation chemistry in the coolant, (5) assay of radioactive waste, and (6) special radiochemical studies and tests in the reactor system. Some selected procedures for sampling, radiochemical separation, and activity measurements are also included in the appendices. The subject matter presented in this monograph is the result of the author’s gleanings from many sources, including lecture notes he used in 1980 at the Institute of Nuclear Science, National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan, and several reports published by the Electric Power Research Institute in Palo Alto, California. Some valuable materials provided by H.R. Helmholz of NWT Corporation and R.C. Huang of Taiwan Power Company are also included.

The author completed his education under the tutelage of nuclear chemistry pioneer Professor Arthur C. Wahl (retired) of Washington University and Professor Milton Kahn (retired) of the University of New Mexico, who were the first research team to report the anomalous chemical behavior of tracer-level iodine in aqueous solutions. After 40 years, the behavior of radioiodine in reactor systems continues to be one of the most elusive, but important, subjects in radiochemistry.

The author was fortunate to have worked under the late R.S.Gilbert, who was a master in fission product source term evaluation. More recently, he has benefited from association with, and guidance from, J.M.Skarpelos, R.N.Osborne, J.H.Holloway, H.R.Helmholz, G.F.Palino, C.P.Ruiz, and R.L.Cowan. He is grateful to GE Nuclear Energy for permission to publish this monograph. He would also like to express his appreciation to H.R.Helmholz, C.P.Ruiz, and G.C.Martin for reviewing the manuscript, and to Diane Parkinson for preparing the manuscript.

Finally, I must acknowledge a special debt to my wife, Jing, for her patience and encouragement during the writing of this monograph.

November 1994

Chien C.Lin



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PREFACE Radiochemical surveillance of a nuclear power plant is an important part of reactor operations. The plant operator is required to continuously monitor fuel performance, correctly account for release of radioactivity through gas and liquid effluents from the plant, and minimize the exposure of personnel to radiation. To satisfactorily accomplish these tasks, proper training must be given to the plant's chemists and technicians. A comprehensive textbook and/or manual is needed for their training, as well as for their use as a reference to develop good radiochemical procedures for routine analyses. Unlike a well- developed procedure in a research laboratory, a good procedure for routine analytical work in a nuclear power plant should be simple and easy to follow, yet accuracy should not be compromised. Therefore, the first main objective of this monograph is to provide the plant's chemists not only with the fundamentals, but also with some major practical procedures collected from many years of reactor experience. However, it must be pointed out that the information contained in this monograph is provided for reference purposes only and is not meant to establish a standard procedure. The second main objective of this monograph is to provide enough fundamental materials for academic professionals to bridge the gap between industry and academia in the area of radiochemistry in nuclear power plants. It also serves as an introduction to professionals in other related fields, such as health physics and nuclear engineering. This monograph deals with two major types of light water reactors: the boiling water reactor (BWR) and the pressurized water reactor (PWR). The main body describes radiochemical technologies in six major areas: (1) radioactivity production and measurement, (2) fuel performance surveillance and fission product chemistry, (3) the chemistry and transport behavior of activation products, (4) radiation chemistry in the coolant, (5) assay of radioactive waste, and (6) special radiochemical studies and tests in the reactor system. Some selected procedures for sampling, radiochemical separation, and activity measurements are also included in the appendices. The subject matter presented in this monograph is the result of the author's gleanings from many sources, including lecture notes he used in 1980 at the Institute of Nuclear Science, National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan, and several reports published by the Electric Power Research Institute in Palo Alto, California. Some valuable materials provided by H.R. Helmholz of NWT Corporation and R.C. Huang of Taiwan Power Company are also included. The author completed his education under the tutelage of nuclear chemistry pioneer Professor Arthur C. Wahl (retired) of Washington University and Professor Milton Kahn (retired) of the University of New Mexico, who were the first research team to report the anomalous chemical behavior of tracer-level iodine in aqueous solutions. After 40 years, the behavior of radioiodine in reactor systems continues to be one of the most elusive, but important, subjects in radiochemistry. The author was fortunate to have worked under the late R.S. Gilbert, who was a master in fission product source term evaluation. More recently, he has benefited from association with, and guidance from, J.M. Skarpelos, R.N. Osborne, J.H. Holloway, H.R. Helmholz, G.F. Palino, C.P. Ruiz, and R.L. Cowan. He is grateful to GE Nuclear Energy for permission to publish this monograph. He would also like to express his appreciation to H.R. Helmholz, C.P. Ruiz, and G.C. Martin for reviewing the manuscript, and to Diane Parkinson for preparing the manuscript. Finally, I must acknowledge a special debt to my wife, Jing, for her patience and encouragement during the writing of this monograph. November 1994 Chien C. Lin vu

OCR for page R7