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Decontamination & Decommissioning
Nuclear Engineering Division at Argonne
Nuclear Engineering is a Division of Argonne National Laboratory (Argonne), a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) laboratory managed by The University of Chicago

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JANUS Biological Reactor Facility

Current status of the project: The project was completed on time (1997), under budget, with no lost time accidents or radiological incidents.

Decontamination technicians removing the lead and graphite blocks from the side of the reactor vesselThe decontamination and dismantlement of the JANUS Reactor at Argonne National Laboratory was completed in October 1997.
The JANUS Reactor Facility was used as a neutron source to research the biological and genetic effects of acute and chronic exposures to neutrons arising from the fission process. The facility operated from 1963 to 1992 at power levels up to 200 kW.

The final survey was completed in September 1997, and an Independent Verification Survey (IVS) was performed in November 1997. After the IVS, the JANUS Reactor Facility was released as "clean" area with two exceptions: the walls and floor of the high-dose room contained activated concrete and some small amount of activated structural steel in the reactor cavity. These areas were isolated to prevent unnecessary entry. Exposure levels in accessible area, however, were low enough to allow unmonitored access. The JANUS Reactor facility was transferred from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) EM-40 roster to Argonne surplus facilities.

All accessible areas of the JANUS Reactor facility were decontaminated to meet free-release requirements as specified in the Argonne environment, Safety and Health Manual. Contaminated or activated equipment, piping and concrete were removed and packaged for disposal; radiologically clean control panels, equipment, wiring and piping, and radiologically clean lead were removed for recycle or reuse by Argonne.

Total exposure to project personnel was 0.482 person-rem (4.82 mSv) compared to the original ALARA estimate of 2.856 person-rem (28.56 mSv). The total cost of the project was approximately $2,095,000 compared to the original estimated cost of $2,004,745.00. A total of 4402.1 ft3 (113.2 m3) of low-level radioactive waste repository with a total activity of 3.13 Ci (115.8 GBq). An additional 538 ft3 (15.2 m3) of mixed waste weighing 47,024 lb (21,330 kg) was packaged for treatment/storage.

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Contact person

Chris Grandy
POC for D&D Operations
Dept. Manager, Engineering Development and Applications Dept.
Argonne National Laboratory
Phone: +1 630-252-9135
Fax:   +1 630-252-7577


ARGONNE NATIONAL LABORATORY, Nuclear Engineering Division, Decontamination & Decommissioning
9700 South Cass Ave., Argonne, IL 60439-4814
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Last modified on October 30, 2006 3:55 PM