Radiological Decontamination

Lasertronics' unique stripping technology offers a practical way to clean contaminated metals to free release.

Our system cleans to free release surfaces that have been contaminated by radionuclides. Nuclides stripped from oxide coatings are trapped in a HEPA paper filter for easy control and inexpensive disposal. The same system strips corrosion, paint, and other coatings.

Laser ablation is ideal for this application because it completely strips any foreign substance:

  • with no residue left on the stripped surface,
  • from surfaces with extremely complex profiles; if the laser can “see” the surface, it can strip it,
  • with no effect whatever on the substrate,
  • with no repetitive manual effort,
  • allowing capture and sequestration of contaminants,for easy control and inexpensive disposal.
Laser Ablation System at Pax River

This 400-watt manual Lasertronics system would be a good fit for radiological decontamination use. From left: chiller, laser, umbilical cable, workhead. A 150 meter umbilical is available, to allow locating the chiller and laser outside the reactor building.

Our system is available in a lightweight, flexible format that is ideal for maintenance and decontamination of reactor systems. It puts a flexible, color-selective laser stripping workhead in the hands of the operator. The workhead weighs about two pounds (~ .8 Kg) and moves easily at the end of its 50-meter (164-foot) umbilical cable. An optional 150-meter (492-foot) umbilical cable permits remote location of laser equipment, outside the reactor containment structure.


Moving the workhead over the area of interest quickly strips any nuclides, paint, or corrosion from the surface. The operator can see the coating disappear, and can hear micro-popping as the superheated coating jumps off the cool surface. This visual + aural feedback helps the operator keep the workhead within the correct distance envelope, while closed-loop control of the laser prevents damage to the substrate.