Study of contaminants in plasmas during decommissioning processes
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With the intention of eventual development of on-site radionuclide capture technologies, methods to simulate radionuclide behaviour when contaminated components are subjected to plasma-based decommissioning processes are developed. Two parallel plasma systems are developed and investigated. A better-understood argon plasma based system has temperature measurement methods developed, along with an exploration of the resultant behavior when non-radioactive isotopes of cesium iodide contaminants are introduced. This plasma system produces traces of ionic species of cesium and iodide, as well as space-dependent deposition patterns: both of which are relevant towards understanding behaviour of contaminants in environments undergoing decommissioning processes. A physical simulation of a cutting process of a contaminated component is completed using an commercial plasma torch by cutting cesium iodide contaminated samples. This process produces some of the same ionic species as in the controlled experiment, proving a controlled argon plasma can be used to simulate plasma environments in decommissioning scenarios.