Remediation of Urban and Other Built Areas


Decontamination of Buildings and Roads

For houses, techniques to loosen and remove surface contamination include manual wiping, cleaning with brushes and high-pressure water cleaning (taking care to avoid water penetration of roofs).  Water from these processes is subject to filtration or ion exchange to remove radionuclides before release or reuse in further decontamination.  In cleaning roofs, special attention has to be given to gutters, as these often represent contamination hot spots.


On large concrete surfaces, for which washing may not be effective, other techniques that can be used include pneumatic shot blasting with either small steel balls or dry ice and vacuum collection of debris.


Gardens can be treated by similar methods to those used for agricultural areas.  Particular attention has to be paid to hot spots, often found underneath the eaves of roofs or in drains that collect roof runoff.  Unpaved surfaces and gravel can be treated by high-pressure water cleaning.


Roads and paved surfaces can be cleaning by water spraying and the use of large rotating brushes.  High-pressure water jets, shot blasting and complete removal of asphalt can also be used.  Where contaminated run-off is generated, it can be captured for later treatment or re-use.



Manual Cleaning using Brushes