The Technical Research Centre of Finland, VTT has developed a low-temperature plasma burning process for controlled and safe incineration of water purification resin used in the primary circuit of nuclear power plants. Storing radioactive waste in the form of ash takes less space and is easier to manage. VTT and its partners have signed an agreement to build a half-scale plasma burning process pilot.
Resin is used for purification of primary circuit water of nuclear power plants, which makes the resin radioactive. The level of its radioactivity does not decrease in incineration, but the volume of the radioactive waste will decrease to at least a tenth of its original volume reducing considerably the storage and final disposal costs for the nuclear power plant. Resin is an organic product and radiation induces gas generation in it, which may be problematic in long-term storage and in final disposal.
Plasma burning enables controlled and safe incineration of radioactive resin. The resin is incinerated in a subatmospheric pressure in a chamber, which enables the maintenance of sufficiently low temperatures. The radioactive ash resulting from the incineration is chemically more stable than resin and radiation does not generate gas in ash. The ash can, for instance, be solidified in concrete which will make the final waste product safe for storage.
Irene Hernberg | alfa
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