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Canadian Facilities Purchase VAC-PAC Systems for Decontamination and Decommissioning

When the Canadian government decided to sell government agency owned and operated nuclear facilities to private enterprises, the need arose for a major decontamination operation. Although the need was not urgent, the decision assumed a high profile as the use of these facilities would be entering a new phase for nonnuclear purposes.

Atomic Energy of Canada, Ltd. explored several commercial decontamination methods. The method of choice for AECL was Pentek’s dustless scabbling system. Representatives of AECL attended a one day demonstration at Pentek’s facilities near Pittsburgh, PA. Impressed, they bought a system for their Whiteshell facility in Manitoba. Following their return to Canada, the Montreal office of AECL purchased a second system for Chalk River, Ontario. The systems were intended for cleanup of the facilities requiring decontamination of concrete and steel on the floors and walls.

Whiteshell, officially named AECL Research Establishment, has a long range goal to decommission and decontaminate the original facility over the next three to five years. The transition will be to a nonnuclear administration, warehouse, and support center.

According to Brian Keeve, Radiation and Contamination Engineer at Whiteshell, “currently the SQUIRREL®-III and Corner-Cutter® are being used with the VAC-PAC®. We are in the preliminary stages of decontamination and only have one small room completed. We will decontaminate the reactor and the rooms surrounding the reactor along with trace amounts of decontamination in other areas. So far the equipment has done very well and has proven to be effective.”

Andre Descrocaers of Chalk River informs us that, “tests have been done with the equipment on steel and concrete and it has done well so far. We probably won’t get into using the equipment (on a regular basis) until early 1992. But from what I’ve seen of Pentek, they really stand behind their product. It performs as advertised.”

For more information please email us, see our contact page or visit our vacuum tool and robotics product pages.

Reprinted from Pentek Ink, Vol 7

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