Friday, 31 July 2015

Nuclear Industry Effluent Reprocessing System

Desiccant DryAir was approached by Springfield Fuels Ltd to help resolve a process difficulty that was resulting in high labour costs and inefficiencies.

A reprocessing system produced, on a continuous basis, effluent containing a high percentage of uranium, and other contaminated solids. The existing method of solid removal used conventional centrifuge separators. This was considered inefficient resulting in high labour and maintenance costs. Nuclear industry regulations required the level of solids to be reduced below 20 parts per million. The remaining liquid was then considered safe to discharge.

Consultation with Springfield and field trials at their reprocessing facility resulted in Desiccant developing and producing the Effluent Reprocessing System (ERS), which in production resulted in:

  • a 10 times increase in material processed per hour
  • significant reduction in levels of contaminated solid
  • a liquid with high clarity levels
  • the processed water was tested hourly at 1ppm
  • the systems reliability allows continuous operation, 24 hours per day, 365 days a year
  • autofill system means no manual input, and the system can run continuously with no staff requirements

The ERS process is based on principles of evaporation resulting in a compact system with very limited number of operating parts giving –

  • exceptionally low maintenance
  • PLC controllability allowing fully automated distant monitoring and control
  • Main components have an expected service life in excess of 15 years
  • Lower labour costs, and an increase in product quantity and quality.

The equipment has now been in operation for 5 years working continuous 24/7 shift patterns to high specification levels.