[ RadSafe ] Removing Cesium from Soil

Joseph Shonka jjshonka at shonka.com
Tue Mar 19 14:15:50 CDT 2019

One can mechanically separate Cs from soil with a conveyorized soil sorter
IF the soil is not  highly homogeneous.  One can also separate discrete
particles of sufficient activity.  When Eberline tried to separate Cs
contaminated soil at ANL-West using a soil sorter designed for TRU, the
attempt failed because the soil was mixed by repeatedly moving the soil
into piles to feed it thru their narrow system.  Additionally, insufficient
efforts were made by the project to limit variations in background (e.g.
moving a load of contaminted soil adjacent to the soil sorter while sorting
is occurring).  This impacted Pit 9 in Idaho as well.  The soil sorter I
developed was used in several successful campaigns.  I sold it and I
believe that a version of it is in use at Fukushima to sort the contents of
those Geo Bags of soil.  A significant fraction of the soil should be able
to be sorted as long as the team doesn't excessively process the soil and
homogenizes Cs contained in it.

*On Tue, Mar 19, 2019 at 2:13 PM Nielsen, Erik C. <Nielsen.Erik at epa.gov
<Nielsen.Erik at epa.gov>> wrote:*

> *I would this this would virtually be impossible.*
> * Cs is bound on the cation exchange capacity of the soil (typically the
> clay fraction) and this is also complicated by Potassium being a common
> soil constitualnt and plant nutrient.*
> * Not sure how you could drive a reaction to pull it out of soil and still
> have anything even close to soil at the end of the process.*

Joseph J. Shonka, Ph.D.
Shonka Research Associates, Inc.
119 Ridgemore Circle
Toccoa, GA 30577

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