In today’s blog, we are going to examine shrink wrap and its benefits in the nuclear industry. This can be for transportation, laydown storage solutions, or for decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) activities. There are a lot of unanswered questions about shrink wrap’s abilities in such a controlled and hazardous environment and quite frankly, shrink wrap is new to the industry and has yet to scratch the surface of its true potential.
Shrink wrap has a very unique feature that allows it to take the exact shape while simultaneously creating an air tight seal around any object. Once it has been “shrunk,” the wrap becomes as tight as a drum and is ideal for nuclear decommissioning activities. It has proven to be a successful product in the nuclear industry on many projects of various sizes throughout the country. Shrink wrap blocks alpha and beta rays, which allows contaminated equipment to be removed, transported, and stored without the risks of loose particle contamination.
Shrink wrap is a relatively new solution to D&D work. There are several alternative methods to containing radiation and hazardous debris; some examples include prefabricated bags/covers to encapsulate these objects, big storage containers that get filled and sealed off, and even extensive cleaning efforts to ensure it is safe for employees and the environment. One thing all of these methods have in common is that they can be expensive, tedious, and very time consuming. Shrink wrap, unlike these methods, is not.
The benefits of shrink wrap can be an advantage to a project for several reasons. The main reason is it is extremely cost effective when comparing it to the other alternatives. There is minimal labor, prep work, or heavy lifting. Another big advantage is that the shrink wrapping process is very time effective. Thoroughly cleaning or building pre-fabricated bags can be time consuming and shrink wrap can generally be easily applied much quicker. Plus, once applied, it requires very little maintenance or return visits simply because it is that durable and weather-resistant.
So, we’ve covered the basics about shrink wrap, how it can be applied to decontamination and decommissioning projects in the nuclear world, alternative methods to shrink wrap, and the advantages as to why shrink wrap can be very time and cost effective, helping streamline any nuclear project, big or small.