In the uranium enrichment process, so that 235U is found in the suitable proportion in nuclear fuel, two uranium isotopes must be separated.
This is achieved in the hydrofluorination of UO2 to achieve UF6. The uranium hexafluoride enables the separation of the two isotopes through gaseous diffusion or ultrafiltration.
Washing of equipment used in the synthesis, manipulation and transport of UF6, generates waste water containing remains of uranium, and as a result also transuranic elements derived from natural decomposition. This means that the water contains low and medium level radioactive particles.
The NUCLEANTECH® UF6 process enables effluent suitable for reuse to be obtained, by using an evaporator-dryer that operates under vacuum conditions.
The solid waste generates is practically dry, and hence its volume is reduced to a maximum, and must be managed according to the nature of low and intermediate level solid waste (LILW). The large quantity of condensed water is reused, both to minimize its consumption and reduce or even eliminate the discharge of liquids in the process.