Siempelkamp Nukleartechnik GmbH has gained lots of experience from melting ferrous metals for recycling in the nuclear cycle as well as for release to general reuse. Due to the fact that the world market prices for non-ferrous metals like copper, aluminium or lead raised up in the past and will remain on a high level, recycling of low-level contaminated or activated metallic residues from nuclear decommissioning becomes more important. Based on the established technology for melting of ferrous metals in a medium frequency induction furnace, different melt treatment procedures for each kind of non-ferrous metals were developed and successfully commercially converted. Beside different procedures also different melting techniques such as crucibles, gas burners, ladles etc. are used. Approximately 340 Mg of aluminium, a large part of it with a uranium contamination, have been molten successfully and have met the release criteria of the German Radiation Protection Ordinance. The experience in copper and brass melting is based on a total mass of 200 Mg. Lead melting in a special ladle by using a gas heater results in a total of 420 Mg which could be released. The main goal of melting of non-ferrous metals is release for industrial reuse after treatment. Especially for lead, a cooperation with a German lead manufacturer also for recycling of non releasable lead is being planned.

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