Low Level Waste (LLW) is radioactive waste or material that is contaminated by radioactivity through its use. Simple examples would include paper, plastic and protective clothing and when facilities cease operating may also include building rubble, soil and steel items such as pipework and storage vessels. Estimates of the volumes of LLW that will need to be managed between 2014 and 2029 have been generated using national inventory data for the nuclear industry. These estimate around 1.1 million m3
of LLW will need to be managed over this period, a proportion of which will be waste steel.
Large amounts of infrastructure from the UK civil nuclear programme are to be decommissioned over the next 50+ years. The whole of the NDA estate (reactor stations and reprocessing facilities) contains significant quantities of pipework and vessels, all of which will require decontamination. Completing decontamination permits reclassification of wastes and provides more efficient use of repositories.
C-Tech has many years of experience in the field of electrodialysis and has built numerous electrodialysis systems ranging from small units treating around 50ml of fluid to larger stacks with throughput of hundreds of litres. C-Tech has collaborated with both universities and companies to develop electrodialysis processes for a number of requirements, including the following:
- The recovery of hydrofluoric acid and sodium hydroxide from a dilute sodium fluoride effluent stream.
- The in-situ and downstream removal of organic acids from enzyme reactions and fermentations, which helps reduce reaction inhibition thereby increasing target molecule productivity.
- C-Tech has successfully applied two-compartment electrodialysis with bipolar membranes (EDBM) in industrial contexts to recover a pure organic acid from a mixture of base and salt.
Key benefits of electrodialysis
Electrodialysis is an industry-ready membrane process used for pollution control, desalination, resource recovery and chemical processing. It can be used to produce potable water from brackish sources and remove salts from foodstuffs, recover salts from effluent, and split salts into their constituent acid and base, for example for recovery of mixed acids from spent pickling liqour. Read More
C-Tech’s Atmospheric Pressure Non-Equilibrium Plasma (APNEP) is based on microwave technology and has a number of applications including nanoparticle production and modification, dry degreasing of metals and adhesion enhancements in polymers. Read More