Infrastructure options firm Jacobs is deploying a brand new sort of Raman spectroscopy know-how, which makes it safer and cheaper to observe radioactive contamination or different hazardous substances in waste shops and nuclear amenities present process decommissioning.

Raman spectroscopy – which works by firing lasers at a goal and measuring the ensuing molecular vibrations – is among the only strategies for figuring out particular chemical compounds. However, it’s not often utilized in nuclear decommissioning, the place entry constraints and excessive radiation fields can forestall the spectrometer from working at its typical efficient vary.

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A crew from Jacobs and IS Instruments, based mostly in Kent, UK, designed a brand new sort of Raman system which might nonetheless detect a weak laser sign when a number of meters from the goal. In addition, the crew discovered a option to mount the Raman probe onto both a remotely operated automobile or robotic arm. This permits the probe to get inside two meters of the goal and ship a sign down an optical cable to the primary Raman instrument, safely positioned tens of meters away.

“Standard tools typically can’t detect particular chemical brokers, both as a result of it will probably’t get shut sufficient or as a result of the indicators are crowded out by the general radiation ranges,” mentioned Clive White, Jacobs Critical Mission Solutions International Senior Vice President.

“This new sort of Raman system is a crucial breakthrough for the nuclear business as a result of it gives higher certainty concerning the presence of hazardous supplies in excessive radiation waste amenities, making the supplies simpler, cheaper and safer to detect,” states White.

Jacobs and Innovate UK, a UK authorities company, have supplied funding to take the system from proof-of-concept to business utility.

It is now getting used to detect uranium and in addition substances equivalent to kerosene and tri-butyl phosphate, that are utilized in reprocessing operations, and might point out the presence of plutonium or uranium contamination.

Legacy nuclear amenities typically comprise vital quantities of poorly unidentified or unknown waste supplies, so improved characterization functionality can scale back decommissioning prices and timescales.

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Raman know-how can also be a key characteristic of a brand new built-in decommissioning system constructed by Jacobs, which gained a latest UK Government-funded innovation competitors and will probably be demonstrated inside extremely radioactive former gas reprocessing amenities at Sellafield later this 12 months.

Outside of the nuclear sector, this advance in Raman know-how will probably be a helpful device in areas the place human entry is not possible or problematic.

The submit Jacobs deploys new know-how to identify radioactive contamination appeared first on Power Engineering International.

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