Gasification-based thermal treatment of Low and Intermediate Level Waste containing organic matter

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VTT has developed a gasification-based technology for processing low- and intermediate-level waste (LILW) rich in organic matter. VTT's process is based on well-controlled thermal fluidised-bed gasification followed by efficient gas cleaning, gas conditioning/oxidation, wet scrubbing of the oxidised gas (flue gas), and finally, filtering through a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, which acts as a backup cleaning system. In the case of an organic ion exchange resin (IXR) the primary product from thermal gasification is fine filter dust. In addition, the process produces some bottom ash, which consists mainly of the bed material. The wet scrubber liquid may also contain some activity. Demonstration trials were carried out using unspent organic IXR containing a small amount of added stable Cs in order to simulate Cs content in spent IXR. Gasification tests confirmed the capability of the process to remove organic matter from the IXR and clean the resulting off-gas as required. Simulated waste IXR was reduced to approximately 1 wt-% of its original mass before immobilisation. Filter dust and bottom ash have to be immobilised before final disposal. VTT has previously developed an advanced immobilisation technology based on geopolymerisation and this has been applied to samples from the THERAMIN test trials. VTT's technology has been designed as a compact process, which can be operated at the nuclear power plant site. Until now, all development and verification test trials have used simulated waste materials. The next step is the demonstration of the process using real radioactive waste.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012007
Number of pages6
JournalIOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventThermal Treatment for Radioactive Waste Minimisation and Hazard Reduction 2020 Conference, THERAMIN 2020 - Manchester, United Kingdom
Duration: 4 Feb 20205 Feb 2020


The project has received funding from the Euratom research and training programme 2014-2018 under grant agreement No 755480.


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