Triple7 Eco-Scale Plus Removes Radioactive Contamination at Mining Companies

mining, radioactive contamination remover

The Situation

Many Australian mining companies face issues with radioactive contamination on their equipment (NORMS) . The two companies discussed in this article required an effective radioactive contamination removal product or method in order to reduce risk to their employees, minimise potential releases, and enable equipment to be removed from site for both service, disposal and recycling.

The Challenge

The mining companies needed a product that would not only effectively remove radioactive contamination, but would also do so safely and easily without damaging equipment, whilt requiring a minimal amount of time and labour.

The Solution

Mining Company #1:

Envirofluid undertook trials at the company’s laboratory to determine the best practice for removing uranium contamination from equipment and materials on site. The intent was to see if the radiation levels could be lowered enough to enable scrap steel to be removed from the site as general waste.

Eighteen samples of scrap were used for the trials, with varying sizes and levels of contamination. For the test, the following steps were implemented:

  • The equipment would first be dipped in a bath of Triple7 Eco-Scale Plus at 40% solution (at ambient temperature)
  • Followed by a rinse tank of fresh water
  • Followed by a final rinse off
  • Finally, the equipment would be left to dry

Each item was dipped individually and for varying periods of time. Items were dipped for 5 to 30 minutes, and some for as low as 1 minute. This was done to see the effect of the Triple7 Eco-Scale Plus solution at removing the radiation.

Mining Company #2:

The second Australian mining company trialled Triple7 Eco-Scale Plus for removing radiation contamination on their pit underdrain bore pumps and pipework.

The Outcome

Mining Company #1:

After one pass, all but four of the eighteen items showed enough radiation reduction to enable them to be removed off site and disposed of as general waste. The four items that had radiation levels that were not lowered to the desired levels in the initial wash had internal rubber layers which were possibly concealing some radiation behind them. Three of the four items initially showed increased radiation levels, which led to the conclusion that the solution removed a layer of rust or dirt which then exposed a layer of higher radiation level underneath.

A second pass on the four items resulted in two of them having sufficiently reduced levels of radiation that would allow them to be taken off site for disposal.

Mining Company #2:

The trial on the bore pumps achieved excellent results. The radiation on the pumps was cleared sufficiently with only one clean, which enabled the company to send them off site for service and rebuilding.

Because of the impressive results, the company recommended the product to stores in order for them to stock Triple7 Eco-Scale Plus for ongoing site use.

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