According with the requirements of HAF-102, the purpose of radiation protection optimization is to achieve occupational exposures as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA). More than 80% of the collective exposure doses are received during the outage for PWRs. Activated corrosion products, especially Co-60, deposited on the surface of reactor coolant system are the main causes of these doses. Co-60 is the principle contributor to out-of-core radiation fields in PWRs, which is a high energy gamma emitter with a 5.3 year half-life period. The contamination by Co-60 plates out in plant piping systems and produces long term high radiation areas in the plant. Stellite, a hard facing alloy trade, which has high Co-59 content (approximately 60%), is identified as one of the most important source of Co-60 in reactors, whereas the contribution of Stellite to cobalt are always not paid enough attention to. Cobalt is released through ware and corrosion of Stellite. When cobalt is released in systems with a flow path to the reactor, it can become activated by neutron to Co-60.
This paper analyzes the Stellite material release into the primary coolant. Based on the above considerations, the impact of Stellite replacement on plant contamination by Co-60 is calculated and analyzed with the use of activated corrosion product source term calculation program. The primary conclusions are as follows: (1) Reducing the quantity of Stellite material used during the design and building of PWRs can significantly reduce the Co-60 deposition on primary circuit. (2) The replacement of Stellite material has a positive impact on PWR contamination by Co-60, but the outcome is not so significant. Based on the above analysis, recommendations are made. Stellite material replacement project can be used for the operating reactors to reduce the Co-60 contamination. But for the design and building of new reactors, reduction of the use of Stellite material is the best choice.