Samuel Peillon 1, Sylvain Fauvel1, Christophe Chagnot2, François Gensdarmes1

  • 1 Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire (IRSN), PSN-RES/SCA/LPMA, Gif-sur-Yvette 91192, France
  • 2 Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique (CEA), DEN/DM2S/SEMT/LTA, Saclay, Gif-sur-Yvette 91191, France

Received: September 27, 2016
Revised: February 20, 2017
Accepted: February 25, 2017
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Cite this article:
Peillon, S., Fauvel, S., Chagnot, C. and Gensdarmes, F. (2017). Aerosol Characterization and Particle Scrubbing Efficiency of Underwater Operations during Laser Cutting of Steel Components for Dismantling of Nuclear Facilities. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 17: 1463-1473.


  • Provide results on aerosol emissions of a laser cutting technique use for decommissioning.
  • Characterization of particulate contaminant concentration during laser cutting of steel equipment.
  • Particle morphology and size distribution measurements of these secondary emissions.
  • Assessment of particle scrubbing efficiency by bubbles during underwater cutting process.



The goal of this article is to provide results on aerosol particles emissions of a laser Nd:YAG cutting technique used for the decommissioning of nuclear facilities. In particular, the study aims at characterizing the aerosol emitted during the cutting of steel specimens of different thicknesses and to study particulate emissions for cuts in air and under water. To do so, we calculate the emitted aerosol mass per unit area of cut. Overall, it was found that the mass of aerosol per unit area of cut by laser cutting decreases when the laser power and cutting speed increase. We also examine the performance of the height of the water column above the cut on the particle collection efficiency. We found that the driving phenomenon for particle collection is the scrubbing of particles by bubbles present in the water column. When cuts are realized under water, the production of aerosol particles mass per unit area of cut is reduced by a factor of 10 and limited below 70 g m–2.

Keywords: Secondary emissions; Laser cutting; Decommissioning; Bubble columns

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