SOLUTION FOR THE WASTEWATER TREATMENT OF THE URANIUM ENRICHMENT PROCESS
The objective of this process is to treat waste water produced by washing equipment used in the synthesis, manipulation and transport of uranium hexafluoride (UF6) at nuclear fuel preparation facilities.
This water contains radioactive particles of low and medium activity and should be treated accordingly.
The process is characterized by obtaining high quality water that can be reused in washes and extreme minimization of completely dry solid waste, which must be managed as low and intermediate level waste (LILW).
This means that cost saving compared to more conventional processes is quite significant.
The NUCLEANTECH® UF6 process enables the treatment of waste water generated during the washing of equipment and facilities that manipulate raw material and radioactive products.
Although most of cases are nuclear fuel preparation plants, given the versatility of the process, it can also be used and applied to nuclear plants, research laboratories, etc.
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.
Complete minimization of solid waste of low and intermediate level solid waste (LILW)
Minimization of water consumption and zero liquid effluent discharge
Exhaustive control of radiation throughout the entire process
Strict compliance with the strictest standards
Water reuse factor: around 95%
Volume reduction factor: over 100 times
Maximum reduction in low and intermediate level waste (LILW)
Possibility of implementation of a zero-discharge system