ZWILAG (Zwischenlager Würenlingen AG, Switzerland) has installed a plasma system for the treatment and conditioning of low level radioactive wastes from nuclear power plants, industry, research and medical applications. In this plasma system radioactive wastes, composed off burnable and unburnable components, can be treated and conditioned in one single process without any pretreatment of waste drums. The glass product meets the final disposal requirements without any further conditioning. In this way the plasma system fulfills the general requirements for nuclear safety, minimal dose impact to the public and professional workers, industrial safety, low release limits for gaseous emissions, high volume reduction and disposable final waste forms.
This paper describes the start-up of the plant that was performed under the responsibility of ZWILAG together with the professional support of Belgoprocess, a consultant in radwaste processing, and of Retech Systems LLC, the supplier of the main components.
Some technical problems occurred during unit and integrated testing. The paper describes how these problems were solved and demonstrates the full operability of the system.