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Production and installation of systems for liquid radioactive waste treatment

Country of Origin: Armenia
Reference Number: TOAM20160919001
Publication Date: 7 October 2016


An Armenian company engaged in designing and fabrication of systems for treatment of liquid radioactive waste has constructed a unit for neutralization of liquid radioactive waste,which was successfully tested in Armenian nuclear power plant. Such units can be used also in nuclear ships, nuclear reactors, etc. Partners are sought for further commercial use/manufacturing. The company is looking for joint venture, research cooperation, as well as manufacturing/technical cooperation agreements.


In the course of nuclear power plant (NPP) operation and decommissioning, as well as during unexpected accidents a large amounts of liquid radioactive waste of intermediate and low-activity levels are generated. The economic efficiency of subsequent waste treatment for reduction of waste bulk depends on the system of accumulation and classification of liquid radioactive waste to be selected based on its activity level and the content of salt, as well as other contaminants. The widely used method of radionuclides concentrating by deep evaporation is costly. Also, all radionuclides remain in the bulk of final product as a solid radioactive waste which is a problem of their further long-term storage. Another method used for liquid radioactive waste treatment is ion exchange, but it can be applied only for salt content no more than 1g/l. Also, the ion exchange resins themselves become the radioactive waste. In practice this method does not provide the required depth of decontamination.  
In these methods the level of residual activity of purified water is neglected. This is the reason that such methods are unacceptable for handling the environmental problems. An Armenian Company over 20 years has developed and used the innovative hydro-electro-chemical method for processing solid and liquid minerals. The experienced specialists have developed innovative patented technologies for treatment of various ores, cleaning of polluted waters and liquid waste including sea water desalination, extraction of metals and production of useful chemicals. Recently the company created the plant for production of titanium dioxide pigment from ilmenite concentrate in Iran. Also several new contracts are prepared with Russia and Iran for treatment of red mud and production of sodium hypochlorite, sodium hydroxide and hydrochloric acid from sodium chloride salt.
The technology developed by the Armenian company is based on proprietary methods of electrolysis and electrodialysis. Earlier the company has designed and fabricated a pilot plant for liquid radioactive waste in Armenian Nuclear Power plant, which has been successfully tested and exploited.
The plant provides deep extraction of radionuclides (Cs, Sr, Co, boric acid) in the form of metals and their oxides from liquid waste. It has the following characteristics:

1. Weight 10 t
2. Working area 100 m2
3. Content of salts in the initial LRW no more than 5 g/l
4. Processing rate 1 t/hour
5. Electric power consumption 20 kW
6. Separation of Cs, Sr, Co isotopes more than 99.9%
7. Radioactivity of purified water less than 10-11 Ci/l

The equipment developed by the company specialists for treatment of liquid radioactive waste by means of combined utilization of modified electrodialysis and ion exchange methods, ensures a reduction of the bulk of low and intermediate activity waste and selective separation of cesium and cobalt isotopes. The equipment provides high decontamination level of purified water and along with that essentially reduces the treatment costs and eliminates the expenditures for long-term disposal of radioactive wastes.
The company is looking for research cooperation agreement or technical cooperation agreement to improve or modernize the unit. Also joint venture agreement or manufacturing agreement in order to manufacture the parts of the unit in Armenia or in the partner country.

Advantages and Innovations

The advantages of the method consist in higher efficiency in comparison with other techniques. Besides, it is cost-effective and environmentally safe because very low volume of radionuclides is formed. The purified water is mostly nonradioactive and may be used again to meet the needs in water at NPP after removal of organic admixtures.
The method is based on innovative electromembrane technology defended by three patents.

Stage Of Development

Field tested/evaluated

Stage Of Development Comment

The company specialists have designed, fabricated, tested and exploited the plant for treatment of liquid radioactive waste in Armenian Nuclear Power Plant.

Requested partner

Universities/academia, research centers, laboratories willing to cooperate in R&D activities for further development of equipment for processing of liquid radioactive waste are sought. Modification of existing technology is needed for solving specific tasks of the client. This may be done under research cooperation or technical cooperation agreement.
The producers and exploiters of nuclear power plants, scientific nuclear reactors, atomic ships, submarines, ready to create a joint-venture or conclude manufacturing agreement for introduction of innovative technology for liquid radioactive waste management are sought.
A contract will be concluded with the international partner with the aim of construction and testing the equipment in Armenia followed by its transportation and installation in Partner country. Some part of equipment may be manufactured in Partner country.
Agencies responsible for radioactive safety willing to install plant for liquid radioactive waste neutralization by the Technical cooperation agreement.
The part of the contract could be the agencies engaged in utilization of radioactive waste. Their role will be the creation and exploitation of the efficient plant for by the manufacturing and/or technical cooperation agreement.

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