THE UNIVERSAL SEPARATION PROCESS (USEP): DEVELOPMENT AND DEMONSTRATION OF AN INNOVATIVE PROCESS FOR REMOVAL OF TRITIUM AND OTHER RADIONUCLIDES FROM MIXED LIQUID WASTE
3rd Canadian Nuclear Waste Management Decommissioning and Environmental Restoration - 2016 Sept. 11-14


Presented at:
3rd Canadian Nuclear Waste Management Decommissioning and Environmental Restoration
2016 Sept. 11-14
Location:
Ottawa, Canada
Session Title:
Session W4: Innovation

Authors:
S. Suryanarayan (Kinectrics Inc.)
J. Gomez (Kinectrics Inc.)
  

Abstract

Historically, oily Mixed Liquid Waste (MLW) drums containing Tritium and other radionuclides were shipped to a licensed US facility for destruction via incineration. This option is relatively complex considering the logistics associated with cross-border shipments and the destruction costs (e.g. Tritium surcharge). Because of this, Kinectrics had developed a novel and flexible process for disposing of oily as well as other (solvents, aqueous etc.) MLW within Canada. This avoids the need for cross-border shipments and significantly reduces the complexity as well as cost for waste disposal. An overview of the various approaches and activities undertaken by Kinectrics during the period 2009-2013 for successfully processing and disposing several MLW drums has been reported previously.

Kinectrics was recently contracted by a Canadian nuclear customer for the disposal of its legacy MLW inventory (referred to as Projects A and B henceforth). The objective of these projects was to treat the various MLW drums in order to reduce the radionuclide concentration to below unconditional clearance criteria followed by disposal of the waste at a conventional chemical waste facility. A small amount of radioactive secondary waste (the captured radionuclides) was returned to the customer. Waste treatment processes used previously by Kinectrics for unconditional clearance of oily MLW were ineffective for treatment of legacy waste drums that were part of Projects A and B. Waste drums from Project-A were particularly challenging to process since H-3 was chemically associated with the oil backbone. To address these challenges, Kinectrics recently developed the novel and flexible Universal SEParation (USEP) Process process as a Canadian solution for disposal of problematic mixed liquid waste. This paper presents an overview of the USEP process and results of the process development as well as large scale demonstration work undertaken to date to successfully process and dispose of several MLW drums.

 

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