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Behavior of radioactive cesium during incineration of radioactively contaminated wastes from decontamination activities in Fukushima

Fujiwara, Hiroshi, Kuramochi, Hidetoshi, Nomura, Kazutaka, Maeseto, Tomoharu, Osako, Masahiro
Journal of environmental radioactivity 2017 v.178-179 pp. 290-296
bottom ash, cesium, decontamination, flue gas, fly ash, municipal solid waste, radioactivity, radionuclides, waste incineration
Large volumes of decontamination wastes (DW) generated by off-site decontamination activities in Fukushima Prefecture have been incinerated since 2015. The behavior of radioactive cesium during incineration of DW was investigated at a working incineration plant. The incineration discharged bottom ash (BA) and fly ash (FA) with similar levels of radiocesium, and the leachability of the radiocesium from both types of ash was very low (<1%). These results are significantly different from those obtained for the incineration of contaminated municipal solid waste (CMSW) reported in earlier studies. The source of radiocesium in DW-FA is chiefly small particles derived from DW and DW-BA blown into the flue gas, not the deposition of gaseous synthesized radiocesium compounds on the surfaces of ash particles in the flue gas as observed in CMSW incineration. This source difference causes the behavior of radiocesium during waste incineration to differ between DW and CMSW.