A novel technology was developed for treatment of evaporator concentrates produced as a result of operation of evaporation devices comprising the main component of special water purification systems of nuclear power plants (NPP). The developed technology includes a hydrothermal (T = 250–300°C and P = 80–120 bar) processing of evaporator concentrates in oxidation medium in order to destruct stable organic complexes of cobalt radionuclides and remove these radionuclides by oxide materials formed during such a processing. The cesium radionuclides contained in evaporator concentrates are removed by a conventional method — through application of one of the developed composite sorbents with ferrocyanides of transition metals used as active agents. Extensive laboratory studies of the processes occurring in evaporator concentrates under hydrothermal conditions were performed. It was shown that hydrothermal oxidation of evaporator concentrates has a number of advantages as compared to traditional oxidation methods (ozonation, photocatalytic, electrochemical and plasma oxidation). A laboratory installation was built for the flow-type hydrothermal oxidation of NPP evaporator concentrates. The obtained experimental results showed good prospects for the developed method application. On the basis of the results obtained, a pilot installation of productivity up to 15 l/hour was developed and built in order to work out the technology of evaporator concentrates hydrothermal treatment. The pilot tests of the hydrothermal technology for evaporator concentrates hydrothermal treatment were performed for 6 months in 2006 at the 1st reactor unit of the Novovoronezhskaya NPP (Voronezh Region, Russia). Optimal technological regimes were determined, and estimations of the economic soundness of the technology were made. The advantages of the presented technology in terms of management of concentrated liquid radioactive wastes (LRW) at nuclear cycle facilities, as compared to other methods applicable for this type of LRW, were demonstrated. Application of the hydrothermal technology in the system of NPP LRW management enables one to reduce substantially the volume of solid radioactive waste sent for final disposal.

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