Synthesis of I-131 labelled iodine species relevant during severe nuclear accidents in light water reactors
Journal article, 2013
Methods for the small scale synthesis of I-131 labelled iodine species relevant to severe nuclear accidents in light water reactors have been developed. The introduced methods allow the synthesis of impurity free, volatile, inorganic elemental iodine and volatile, organic iodides such as methyl-and ethyl iodide, as well as butyl iodide, chloroiodomethane, allyl iodide and benzyl iodide with ease. The radioactive iodine containing products are sufficiently stable to allow their storage for later use. Due to their volatility the liquid species can be easily converted into gaseous species and thus can be used in research in liquid and gaseous phase.
The primary motivation for the development of these synthesis methods is to study the behaviour of volatile iodine species under the conditions of a severe nuclear accident in a light water reactor. Thus, the chemicals involved in the synthesis are chosen in a way to not generate impurities (chlorine and organic solvents) in the products which interfere with competing reactions relevant during a severe nuclear accident. Teknopox Aqua VA epoxy paint, which is used in Swedish light water reactor containments, and its reactions with the produced iodine species are described. The synthesised iodine species undergo chemisorption on paint films. Different to elemental iodine, the organic iodides are non-reactive with copper surfaces. The sorbed iodine species are partly re-released mainly in form of organic iodides and not as elemental iodine when the exposed paint films are heat treated. The partitioning and hydrolysis behaviour of gaseous methyl-and ethyl iodide between containment gas phase and water pools is found to be similar.
The methods have been designed to minimise the use of harmful materials and the production of radioactive waste.
Volatile source term
Severe nuclear accident
Light water reactors