Isotron to Advance the Nation’s Radionuclide Countermeasure Technology

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The Technical Support Working Group (TSWG) has selected IsotronÂ?s advanced organic composites technology as a candidate for its Radionuclide Countermeasures portfolio. These advanced materials will help the emergency first responders to secure a site that has been affected by a radionuclide dispersion event.

The Technical Support Working Group (TSWG) has selected Isotron’s advanced organic composites technology as a candidate for its Radionuclide Countermeasures portfolio. These advanced materials will help the emergency first responders to secure a site that has been affected by a radionuclide dispersion event.

The new product will be built upon Isotron’s extensive experience in this area of radionuclide encapsulation and decontamination. An example is the Isolock-300 coating system that was used to prevent contamination as well as to facilitate decontamination of an immersed nuclear reactor during refueling and decommissioning operations.

The new advanced technology will emphasize the safety of the first responders and will provide them with a means to carry out search, rescue and recovery activities in a radionuclide contaminated environment.

This new technology provides a means to avoid the problems that the first responders faced in the aftermath of the Three Mile Island and Chernobyl accident events. Radionuclide contamination is very easily spread through contact, dust re-aerosolization, soil erosion and other such mechanisms that are all exacerbated by emergency response activities. Emergency transport vehicles and personnel must be able to safely cross the isolation zone without spreading contamination. Hank Lomasney, Chief Technology Officer of Isotron Corporation is the principle innovator of this effort. Lomasney was Technical Director of Imperial Coatings Corporation, which developed the coatings technology used in the decontamination of Three Mile Island.

Lomasney reports that,"The legacy associated with nuclear power plant accidents of the last decades provides insight into the challenges that will be faced if a 'dirty bomb' is ever released. However operations within the urban environment introduce a new suite of performance constraints. We are now called upon to deliver a technology for mitigating the consequences associated with a radionuclide dispersal event in a downtown metropolitan area. This TSWG-sponsored initiative has taken on the challenge of addressing this capability.”

Isotron technology is focused on stabilizing the area so that emergency operations can take place while reducing or eliminating the cross-contamination concern. Isotron points out though that all of this has to be done in a manner that downstream forensics, decontamination and recovery operations will not be complicated.

“It’s a complex problem, and the Isotron team is acutely aware that the solution can not afford to be complex," says Lomasney, “Our objective is to deliver a system that focuses on ease-of-use in a large-scale application environment, leveraging the existing tools available to emergency response teams.”

Isotron Corporation is a small business specializing in advanced polymer composites. The company has been involved in large scale radionuclide decontamination as well as chemical and biological agent decontamination and protective equipment since its inception in 1986. Isotron is located in Seattle, Washington. For more information, visit http://www.isotron.net.

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Christina Lomasney
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