Growth of micrometric oxide layers for the study of metallic surfaces decontamination by laser
Den – Service d’Etudes Analytiques et de Réactivité des Surfaces (SEARS), CEA, Université Paris-Saclay, F-91191, Gif sur Yvette
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Published online: 25 September 2017
The nuclear industry produces a wide range of radioactive waste in term of level of hazard, contaminants and material. For metallic equipment like steam generators, the radioactivity is mainly located in the oxide surface. In order to study and develop techniques for dismantling and for decontamination in a safe way, it is important to have access to oxide layers with a representative distribution of non-radioactive contaminants. We propose a method of formation of oxide layer on stainless steel 304L with europium (Eu) as contaminant marker. In this method, an Eu-solution is sprayed on the stainless steel samples. The specimen are firstly treated with a pulsed nanosecond laser and secondly the steel samples are exposed to a 600°C furnace for various durations in order to grow an oxide layer. The oxide structure and in-depth distribution of Eu in the oxide layer are analysed by scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy dispersive X-ray microanalyzer, and by glow discharge optical emission or mass spectrometry. The oxide layers were grown to thicknesses in the range of 200 nm to 4.5 μm regarding to the laser treatment parameters and the heating duration. These contaminated oxides have a ‘duplex structure’ with a mean weight percentage of 0.5% of europium in the volume of the oxide layer. It appears that europium implementation prevents the oxide growth by furnace but has no impact on laser heating. These oxide layers are used to study the decontamination of metallic surfaces such as stainless steel 304L using a nanosecond pulsed laser.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2017
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