Identification of the chemical inventory of different paint types applied in nuclear facilities

Sabrina Tietze, Mark R St J Foreman, Christian H. Ekberg, Bart E. Van Dongen

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    The floors, concrete walls and many of the metal surfaces in nuclear power plant containments are coated with zinc primers or paint films to preserve the metal surfaces and simplify decontamination in the containment after the occurrence of a severe nuclear incident or accident. A chemical examination of paint films from different nuclear installations out of operation, as well as current operating ones, reveals that different types of paints are used whose composition can vary significantly. Results obtained for one type of paint at a certain nuclear site are in most cases unlikely to be comparable with sites painted with another type of paint. During normal operation and particularly during nuclear accidents, the paints will degrade under the high temperature, steam and irradiation influence. As paint and its degradation products can act as sources and depots for volatile iodine compounds, the type and aging conditions of the paint films will have a significant impact on the source term of the volatile fission product iodine. Thus, great care should be taken when extrapolating any results obtained for the interaction of radioactive iodine with one paint product to a different paint product. The main focus of the study is a comparison of the chemical profile of paint films applied in Swedish nuclear power plants. Teknopox Aqua V A, an epoxy paint recently used at Ringhals 2, and an emulsion paint used in the scrubber buildings of Ringhals 1-4 are compared with a paint film from Barsebäck nuclear power plant unit 1 that had been aged under real reactor conditions for 20 years. In addition, two paint films, an emulsion and a gloss paint, used in an international nuclear fuel reprocessing facility, are compared with the paints from the Swedish nuclear power plants. © 2012 Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1981-1999
    Number of pages18
    JournalJournal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013


    • Containment
    • Epoxy paint
    • Iodine
    • Methyl iodide
    • Organic iodides
    • Severe nuclear accidents
    • Volatile iodine source term


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