The radioactivity of 14C of the graphite samples from the dismantled Korea Research Reactor 1&2 (the KRR-1&2) site was analyzed and proposed to be disposed of as a low level radioactive waste rather than self-disposed of. The graphite wastes, with a weight of seven tons, have been generated during the dismantling of a research reactor with a capacity of one MW from 1995 to 2006. The graphite was used as a moderator for the research reactor and so has been radioactivated by thermal neutron. It was thought that the graphite wastes mainly included a radioisotope of stable carbon, 14C, a pure beta emitter with a half life of 5,730 years and with a maximum decay energy of 156 keV. Therefore, it has been requested to see whether the dismantled graphite radioactive wastes including 14C can be self-disposed of or not. In the present study, the radioactivity of 14C in the graphite sample used in the research reactor was analyzed by using a commercialized high temperature furnace and a Liquid Scintillation Counter (LSC). The combustion temperature of the furnace was five hundred degrees centigrade and especially the temperature in the catalyst region was eight hundred degrees centigrade. The recovery from the furnace was 95% for 14C and the LSC had a quenching efficiency of approximately 66%. Carbosorb was used as a trapping solution for 14C. The radioactivity of 14C was measured by a LSC through the procedure of a pre-treatment such as the combustion of a sample in the temperature range of 500–800 degrees centigrade by a high temperature furnace, trapping of 14C into carbosorb and cocktailing it with a scintillator. The radioactivity was analyzed to have a concentration with a value of much more than a domestic legal limit for a self-disposal. And an individual effective dose rate estimation was also carried out. Finally, it is suggested that the graphite wastes from the dismantled research reactor should be disposed of at a low level radioactive waste disposal site and monitored.

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