The issue of airborne radioactive particle release is receiving considerable attention as part of the overall objective to improve the safety or environmental analyses for non-reactor nuclear facilities. In particular, data of release airborne fractions are used in safety assessment to estimate the amount of a material that would be dispersed in the air due to a physical stress and thus available for airborne transport. Among the variety of stresses from a specific accident, very few studies (Sutter et al., 1981) were devoted to free fall spills of powders. Therefore, as part of a common research programme between IRSN and COGEMA, this study has two objectives. The first one was to design an experimental facility and an associated method for measuring release airborne mass fractions from free fall spills of polydisperse powders. The second objective was to utilize the developed method for measuring airborne release fractions from falling polydisperse powder (0.1 µm – 50 µm) made of glassmicro-spheres.
This work has been done with INRS and COGEMA (France).