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RT@OPG

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OREX
« on: Jul 25, 2005, 08:34 »
I received a call from a salesman telling me that we should switch our protective equipment from reuasable (washables) to a single use product that is "disposable" becasue it disolves when you wash it - OREX.  Is anyone really using this stuff and is it cheap enought to use including the wash/disposal costs etc.  Can you help me with information on whether its a waste of time or not.  Any and all help appreciated. 

rabbit

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Re: OREX
« Reply #1 on: Jul 25, 2005, 09:11 »
The only experiences I've had with them were at Quad Cities and Millstone.  They do dissolve in water (can be embarrassing for some who don't want to show their tushes! :-[), are lightweight, fairly good at blocking wind, but do not hold up to a whole 12 hour shift.  They tend to break down when used for extended periods of time.  Your best bet would be to contact these plants for their input.

Good luck in your quest for information!! ;D

Offline RRhoads

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Re: OREX
« Reply #2 on: Jul 25, 2005, 10:05 »
I have used them & the "other"(unitech) product...
Orex are Definitely a superior product...I've seen people walk into a "C" zone & bend down & blow out the unitechs.
Unitechs seem to be less breathable too.
Orex are cooler than Cotton PC's & way more comfy than the nylon PC's & those pseudo-cotton types!
The other big bennie is that they are not radioactive to begin with! That is the reason why Columbia used the Unitechs last outage.
Givem' a shot! ;)

Offline RDTroja

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Re: OREX
« Reply #3 on: Jul 26, 2005, 08:15 »
Lots of plants are using Orex and they do well if you are not doing a lot of 'rugged' work... and of course no welding. They do tend to wear out if you are doing hot work or getting wet, but the dissolving part doesn't start until you put them in 200 degree water. They create less solid waste, they are clean when you store and handle them before use, and they do a pretty good job of keeping people clean if you don't let them keep working when their PCs start to shred (and they will if the worker is doing a lot of climbing or things like hauling lead). Also, don't let people kneel down in wet or high contamination areas, but that holds for cotton, too.

I hated them when I first started using them (probably just on principal) but now I don't think they are so bad... especially when I consider that I am the only person that will ever wear them. When I see (and smell) some of the people that may have worn the cotton PCs I am about to put on, I think that Orex is a GREAT idea.
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Offline PWHoppe

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Re: OREX
« Reply #4 on: Jul 26, 2005, 11:20 »
I'm not a big fan of the OREX product. I have not used "cotten" PC's in a long, long time. The other brand (unitech) doesn't use cotten but rather uses a product they call "protech" or something like that. It is not cotten and I have never seen it tear out nor does it retain a smell that I have noticed. I also noted that the OREX has been touted to be able to be washed a lower temps and reused, as Roger noted they do not disolve until a higher temp is reached, not sure what that is, maybe 200 is correct? I found that when they were reused the shrinkage was extreme! I am not a fan of them and would not use them.

Just my opinion, I could be wrong.
« Last Edit: Jul 26, 2005, 01:30 by PWHoppe »
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Offline RDTroja

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Re: OREX
« Reply #5 on: Jul 26, 2005, 03:02 »
I also noted that the OREX has been touted to be able to be washed a lower temps and reused ... I found that when they were reused the shrinkage was extreme! I am not a fan of them and would not use them.

If someone asked me to wear a pair of washed Orex coveralls they would need to visit their doctor to have the coveralls surgically removed from where I put them.
"I won't eat anything that has intelligent life, but I'd gladly eat a network executive or a politician."

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Offline Already Gone

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Re: OREX
« Reply #6 on: Jul 26, 2005, 03:12 »
Unfortunately, Orex will not replace your reusables because it won't keep out Tritium.  The salesman is probably under the impression that you use the same cotton outer coveralls that we do.  They would make a good replacement for the tyvek suits.  BUT I caution you that they will never take the place of the Browns because perspiration degrades them rapidly.  If you tried to wear Orex under a plastic suit, you'd end up with nothing left but the zipper.  They make Orex scrubs too.  These tear easily, dissolve with the slightest bit of sweat, hold in body heat, and cannot be worn for any kind of Hot (spark or flame producing) Work.  Most people don't have this problem, but they give me a mild skin rash.
When I last worked at OPG, they were experimenting with cotton scrubs to replace the browns.  They were even letting the users wear them into Zone 1.  I don't know how far the experiment went, but remember that the Orex scrubs won't work inside plastic.
« Last Edit: Jul 26, 2005, 03:14 by Beer Court »
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Offline tonynuke

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Re: OREX
« Reply #7 on: Jul 26, 2005, 03:56 »
I like em better than getting contaminated by cottons that arent washed good enough.  You should just be prepared for a "blowout" every now and then with OREX, but if you can deal with that, they work alright depending on the temperatures and contamination levels.  Just like everything else in this business, in the right applications, they work well.  Seems like alot of commercial power plants are using more and more of them.

ageoldtech

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Re: OREX
« Reply #8 on: Jul 26, 2005, 04:23 »
Most nuke sites don’t have a tritium problem. Orex also makes a fire retardant disposable. I’ve been using orex for about 8 years and have found them to be reliable for most applications. Only water gives us a problem, but as we know water gives everyone a problem. I’m ordering tons of them for the up coming SGR at Watts Bar. I’m also going to try the disposable shoe covers and gloves. At Oconee orex was just shipped off to be super compacted instead of dissolved. From the study I just completed the savings is justifiable.

shayne

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Re: OREX
« Reply #9 on: Jul 26, 2005, 07:22 »
I don't mind them.  I usually only wear them when I have to wear doubles or going into a CA for a short period of time and not climbing around.  I have found that they do breath a little better than the cotton or the protech.  I still perfer the protect for everything else.  The silk feel make them feel cooler to me.

We also use the Orex scrubs that many wear around the plant.  I don't like the feel of them on the bare skin.  But they seem to be popular.
« Last Edit: Jul 26, 2005, 07:23 by Shayne »

Offline Duke Nuker

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Re: OREX
« Reply #10 on: Jul 27, 2005, 09:51 »
We use OREX here at Harris.  We have not had any problems with PC related contaminations since we switched.  You never know what your cottons were washed with.  We have not had any issues with sweat throughs.  Most work in containment during outage doesn't last all shift.  We find workers spend maybe 4 hours in a set.  I know all about the horror stories of 11 or 12 hours in the can, but that is not the norm here.  I will investigate the supercompactiing though, if it will save money.....
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Offline Already Gone

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Re: OREX
« Reply #11 on: Jul 27, 2005, 02:14 »
Most nuke sites don’t have a tritium problem. Orex also makes a fire retardant disposable. I’ve been using orex for about 8 years and have found them to be reliable for most applications. Only water gives us a problem, but as we know water gives everyone a problem. I’m ordering tons of them for the up coming SGR at Watts Bar. I’m also going to try the disposable shoe covers and gloves. At Oconee orex was just shipped off to be super compacted instead of dissolved. From the study I just completed the savings is justifiable.

This is quite true, but the person asking the question works at a CANDU.  Tritium makes up about 50% of the WB dose at a CANDU.  Because of this, they do not use cotton outer PC's.  They use an air-fed plastic suit that is much heavier than our bubble suits.  They are laundered and reused.  In areas without Tritium, they just wear Tyvek over clothing.  The only reusable outer PC's they wear are the plastics.  For anyone wearing the plastics, or entering areas where they need double rubber, they have to wear plant-provided clothing (including socks and underwear) much like the way we use scrubs.  They throw away all the rubber goods.  So, the only "reusables" that can be replaced by Orex in this situation would be the "radiation area" garments which most workers wear as work clothes whether they are dressing out or not.  Since this includes socks and underwear, I think Orex would be a most uncomfortable replacement.
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raymcginnis

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Re: OREX
« Reply #12 on: Jul 27, 2005, 11:51 »
I worked at St. Lucie years ago and there was a Turkey Point travelling technician that I worked with who told me about PCs that they used that dissolved.  I am pretty sure that he told me that they added hydrogen peroxide to the laundry and that caused the PCs to turn into gasses.  Does anyone know if this is the same product under discussion here?  Is my knowledge incorrect or worse yet, ancient?

I work at a very low level site (very close to finishing remediation).  We are using Tyveks.  If there is something better, that would be good to know.

ageoldtech

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Re: OREX
« Reply #13 on: Jul 28, 2005, 06:46 »
Ray, I think this is the same product you heard about. The way it was explained to me is hydrogen peroxide is added to the mix and the only waste you generate is a bunch of zippers and the filter used to clean up the solution.

raymcginnis

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Re: OREX
« Reply #14 on: Jul 28, 2005, 08:06 »
Ageold and all.  If Ageold is right, why would they deteriorate with body heat in the absence of hydrogen peoroxide?  The other posts don't mention hydrogen peroxide.  They only mention 200 degree water to dissolve them.  I understand the input about evaporation vs. super-compacting.  That would take a real money analyst to compare that (electricity for the compactor vs. electricity for the evaporator, plus cubic feet of waste generated).  I'd like to hear more input on this.

Offline Already Gone

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Re: OREX
« Reply #15 on: Jul 29, 2005, 12:11 »
Ray, They don't so much dissolve as they wear thin and tear rapidly when exposed to body heat and perspiration.  Personally, I can't stand to have Orex next to my skin.  The scrubs irritate my skin, but the coveralls when used as outer PC's are okay.  The fibers don't have a lot of tensile strength - just brushing against a rough surface can cause a kind of "velcro effect". 
Still, I'd rather wear a new pair of Orex coveralls than new Protech ones.  The Protech doesn't wick perspiration fast enough and makes you feel like you're wearing a plastic bag.  Tyvek holds heat in too, and it stinks like day-old mackerel.
Cotton is my fiber of choice, but you never know where they've been.  Even brand new ones can have hot particles in them from the laundry.
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raymcginnis

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Re: OREX
« Reply #16 on: Jul 29, 2005, 08:18 »
Quote
Even brand new ones can have hot particles in them from the laundry.

Beercourt,  It seems like a huge compromise and weight of one PC against the other.  I assume the above statement meant new ones that have been washed once.  What would you recommend for a site that is almost finished?  Tyveks are cheaper for us than a laundry service.  I am pretty sure all of the hot particles are gone.  We are scabbling some hot stuff, but with super enginerring controls.  What about the old fasioned papers?  They tore sometimes but so do tyveks (so I hear).  The workers don't sit down here and the seat was the thing that tore out.  I haven't been in PCs for years now.  I have been doing engineering.  I don't know that I have even wore Tyveks.  I did wear Orex hoods in 2002 at St. Lucie.  That would not tell me anything about the complaints though.  I may look into the cost of a washer for cottens for our site again.  We would have to plumb in the outlet to our new evaporator system.  Worker comfort should pay for it though. 

Any further input from everyone about this post would be appreciated.

Thanks to all who replied to my reply.  It is all food for thought.

JnyMac

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Re: OREX
« Reply #17 on: Jul 29, 2005, 09:54 »
Guys,

I was asked by John Steward and Jordan Johnston to work with them on OREX.  It started out as Microbasix.  We developed the processor for getting rid of the waste.  No plants wanted the processor so they are all shipping the waste out for processing.  I will tell you this I was impressed by the way this stuff works.  We would put 50lbs of the stuff in a tank, add hydrogen peroxide, and heat the water to 200 degrees.  Wait about 4 hours open it up and all that was on the screen was the metal and cotton product from manufacturing.  The chemical process broke it down to basically vinegar.  The OREX is made with PolyVinyl Alcohol.  The original process was to the filter out the Rad Material and send the liquid to be processed by microbes.  This was performed at the facility in Texas where we were performing R and D.  The water that the microbes produced actuallt tested better than the drinking water from the tap.  We wear them at Palo Verde and I think they perform great.

raymcginnis

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Re: OREX
« Reply #18 on: Jul 29, 2005, 10:54 »
Quote
I will tell you this I was impressed by the way this stuff works.  We would put 50lbs of the stuff in a tank, add hydrogen peroxide, and heat the water to 200 degrees.

Jnymac, have you done a cost analysis yet?  We have not tried this product yet, but if you look through the posts, others have, and they think that super compacting may be cheaper than dissolving.  I don't think anyone has calculated down to the electricity costs.  How much electricity per PC does the disslover use.  How much electricity per PC does the super-compactor use?  As our site grows less radioactive and as our staff grows smaller, I get closer and closer to the cost reality.  I am involved in lots of meetings with the people in charge of the money.  I see there pain now.  If you have lots of money, then you can use new cool things that seem effective.  When you have a really limited budget, you have to look carefully about what you spend.  If something is easy, it is not necessarily the best way to go.  It may blow your budget. 

The whole point of all of the other posts are that yes, you may meet waste volume reduction goals for one metric, but it may make another's metric go overboard, such as liquid waste people.  How much does it cost per PC?  That is the ultimate question that I have not seen the answer to on this topic.  Nobody looks this deep unless they have to.  Nobody has had to answer this question yet.

Were you using Orex 1 or Orex 2?

Offline Already Gone

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Re: OREX
« Reply #19 on: Jul 30, 2005, 11:30 »
I assume the above statement meant new ones that have been washed once. 

Not to stray too far off topic here Ray, but new cotton PC's that are leased from a vendor are usually put through a rinse and spin cycle before being distributed.  To save money and time, some vendors used to do this in the same rinse and spin that was meant to clear the machines after a load of Hot Particle laundry.
Of course, every rental contract is different.  Some require sorting gloves, folding coveralls, stocking the goods on portable shelves... etc.  Some just require folding and bundling the coveralls.  Some require monitoring of the PC's, some don't.  Some facilities monitor incoming PC's at 100%, some do 10%.
I don't know if they are still using this shortcut, and I don't read a site's laundry contract before I dress out. Just to be safe, I never put a pair of brand new cotton PC's on if there are older ones available.  This is just one of the many problems you don't have to deal with when using disposable PC's.
« Last Edit: Jul 30, 2005, 11:33 by Beer Court »
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RAD-GHOST

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Re: OREX
« Reply #20 on: Aug 01, 2005, 03:43 »
Now that's Funny! 

The Microbe treated water tastes better then the water from the tap?    :-X

I would have to say, that's taking an experiment to the limits!

50 lbs. of solid waste into a tank, add peroxide, heat to 200 degrees and Wa-La, the stuff disappears!  The stuff may be the thing of the future, but everybody stops short at the disolving process!  Where did the 50 pounds of material go and where is it finally recovered?

RG

JnyMac

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Re: OREX
« Reply #21 on: Aug 01, 2005, 06:53 »
« Last Edit: Aug 01, 2005, 07:18 by JnyMac »

raymcginnis

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Re: OREX
« Reply #22 on: Aug 01, 2005, 07:29 »
Rad-Ghost,

I have not read Jnymac's link yet.  I read that tonight or tommorrow and comment again.  It will answer your question more precisely than I can, but I do seem to remember that the person who told me about it said that the majority of the coveralls turned into harmless gasses (CO2) and water (H2O).  I guess some would complain about greenhouse effects from the CO2, but it is nothing compared to gass and coal fired plant contributions to that.

Offline JessJen

Re: OREX
« Reply #23 on: Aug 02, 2005, 02:49 »
I caution you that they will never take the place of the Browns because perspiration degrades them rapidly.  If you tried to wear Orex under a plastic suit, you'd end up with nothing left but the zipper.  They make Orex scrubs too.  These tear easily, dissolve with the slightest bit of sweat, hold in body heat, and cannot be worn for any kind of Hot (spark or flame producing) Work.  Most people don't have this problem, but they give me a mild skin rash.
When I last worked at OPG, they were experimenting with cotton scrubs to replace the browns.  They were even letting the users wear them into Zone 1.  I don't know how far the experiment went, but remember that the Orex scrubs won't work inside plastic.

Id have to disagree with you on the point that they degrade in plastics to that extent.  I've used the orex in some very sweaty, busy, nasty, and long jumps wearing one of those nifty plastic coated suits which barely breaths any more than anything else plastic and had no real problems with blowouts and actually find them more comfortable than your average cotton for outers.  Now as for the orex "scrubs" bah they can keep those...not reinforced enough for my liking.  Any real work takes place and theyre ripped...typically right in the behind.

raymcginnis

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Re: OREX
« Reply #24 on: Aug 02, 2005, 11:23 »
Quote
Now as for the orex "scrubs" bah they can keep those...

Jess Jen,  I don't know the buzz words yet.  I read jnymac's Orex link today and then went to the products page.  They have a regular coverall and a deluxe.  The look the same except for the zipper looks more killer on the deluxe and there is a pocket with velcro seal and a place to hang a whirl pack.  Can you talk more about which ones are good and which ones tear?  What is a scrub and what is not a scrub in Orex terms?

Everyone seems to have either really good experiences with them or really bad experiences.  I think it may depend on who their purchasing agent is and what they ordered.

I know that they use them at Palo Verde.  If you work in the Radwaste buidling there, that is about as hot of sweat as you can get.  I can't imagine sweat getting up to 190, except there, but we always pulled people out before then.

Jess, if you could give me the part number for the ones that you like, I am going to ask Orex for samples and try them out for myself.

 


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