Work on cleaning up nuclear power plants gets a new insight with some research. …
Radioactive build-up in nuclear power plants poses problems for cleaning systems. The chemical cobalt forms deposits of oxides with products from carbon steel when it interacts with coolants from the reactor.
However, these oxides trapp radioactive ions as well, leading to the buildup of radioactivity in the cooling systems.
A new material, a special polymer, is able to fix that problem. The innovation is extremely absorbent for cobalt, but completely and totally disregards iron-based ions, which means that, if implemented, a new cleaning systems based on the new polymer could exhibit little to no radioactive buildup and, therefore, less danger to employees and the general populations living nearby.
Apparently the water in uclear reactors pass through ion exchange filters to remove whatever the system finds toxic to it and to the environmnet. I never thought of how they did that before. It is the same filtering principle that can be installed in households to purify tap water.
Pretty obvious system to have when you think about it.