A method for reducing contamination of HEPA filters with radioactive and/or hazardous materials is described. The method includes pre-processing of the filter for removing loose particles. Next, the filter medium is removed from the housing, and the housing is decontaminated. Finally, the filter medium is processed as pulp for removing contaminated particles by physical and/or chemical methods, including gravity, flotation, and dissolution of the particles. The decontaminated filter medium is then disposed of as non-RCRA waste; the particles are collected, stabilized, and disposed of according to well known methods of handling such materials; and the liquid medium in which the pulp was processed is recycled.
CONTRACTUAL ORIGIN OF THE INVENTION
This invention was made with United States Government support under Contract No. DE-AC07-94ID13223, now Contract No. DE-AC07-99ID13727 awarded by the United States Department of Energy. The United States Government has certain rights in the invention.