Limiting Wind-Induced Resuspension of Radioactively Contaminated Particles to Enhance First Responder, Early Phase Worker and Public Safety—Part 1

Hadas Raveh-Amit, Avi Sharon, Itzhak Katra, Terry Stilman, Shannon Serre, John Archer, Matthew Magnuson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

An accidental radiological release or the operation of a radiological dispersal device (RDD) may lead to the contamination of a large area. Such scenarios may lead to health and safety risks associated with the resuspension of contaminated particles due to aeolian (wind-induced) soil erosion and tracking activities. Stabilization technologies limiting resuspension are therefore needed to avoid spreading contamination and to reduce exposures to first responders and decontamination workers. Resuspension testing was performed on soils from two sites of the Negev Desert following treatment with three different stabilization materials: calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, and saltwater from the Dead Sea in Israel. Two and six weeks post-treatment, resuspension was examined by inducing wind-driven resuspension and quantitatively measuring particle emission from the soils using a boundary-layer wind tunnel system. Experiments were conducted under typical wind velocities of this region. Treating the soils reduced resuspension fluxes of particulate matter < 10 µm (PM10) and saltating (sand-sized) particles to around background levels. Resuspension suppression efficiencies from the treated soils were a minimum of 94% for all three stabilizers, and the Dead Sea salt solution yielded 100% efficiency over all wind velocities tested. The impact of the salt solutions (brine) was directly related to the salt treatment rather than the wetting of the soils. Stabilization was still observed six weeks post-treatment, supporting that this technique can effectively limit resuspension for a prolonged duration, allowing sufficient time for decision making and management of further actions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2463
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Volume12
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2022

Keywords

  • Dead Sea saltwater
  • Dust emission
  • Soil contamination
  • Soil erosion
  • Soil resuspension
  • Stabilization material

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • Instrumentation
  • General Materials Science
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Computer Science Applications

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