The application of strippable coatings is an innovative technology for decontamination of nuclear plants and for any decontamination project aiming at removing surface contamination. An adhesive plastic coating is applied on the contaminated surface. The strippable coating is allowed to cure for up to 24 h, after which it can be easily peeled. The coating traps the contaminants in the polymer matrix. Strippable coatings are non-toxic and do not contain volatile compounds or heavy metals. Since the coating constitutes a solid waste, disposal is easier than treating contaminated liquid wastes, produced by the baseline technology: steam vacuum cleaning, based upon superheated pressurized water in order to remove contaminants from floors and walls. A life cycle assessment (LCA) has been carried out with the purpose of comparing the strippable coating with the steam vacuum technology. The functional unit of the study is represented by a surface of 1 m(2) to be decontaminated. The results of LCA achieved using Sima Pro 5.0(A (R)) software confirm the good environmental performances of strippable coatings. Taking into account both LCA and environmental costs for liquid wastes, the advantages of strippable coatings will be more and more evident.
LCA of strippable coatings and of steam vacuum technology used for nuclear plants decontamination / Guidi, Giambattista; Cumo, Fabrizio; DE SANTOLI, Livio. - In: CLEAN TECHNOLOGIES AND ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY. - ISSN 1618-954X. - 12:3(2010), pp. 283-289. [10.1007/s10098-009-0208-5]