The strategy of protecting the traditional glass fibre HEPA filtration train from it’s blinding contamination and the recovery of dust by the means of self cleaning, pre-filtration is a proven means in the reduction of ultimate disposal volumes and has been used within the Fuel Production Industry. However, there is an increasing demand in nuclear applications requiring elevated operating temperatures, fire resistance, moisture resistance and chemical composition that the existing glass fibre HEPA filtration cannot accommodate, which can be remedied by the use of a metallic HEPA filter media. Previous research suggests that the then costs to the Department of Energy (DOE), based on a five year life cycle, was $29.5 million for the installation, testing, removal and disposal of glass fibre HEPA filtration trains. Within these costs, $300 was the value given to the filter and $4,450 was given to the peripheral activity. Development of a low cost, cleanable, metallic, direct replacement of the traditional filter train will the clear solution. The Bergman et al work has suggested that a 1000 ft^3/min, cleanable, stainless HEPA could be commercially available for $5,000 each, whereas the industry has determined that the truer cost of such an item in isolation would be closer to $15,000. This results in a conflict within the requirement between ‘low cost’ and ‘stainless HEPA’. By proposing a system that combines metallic HEPA filtration with the ability to self clean without interrupting the process flow, the need for a tradition HEPA filtration train will be eliminated and this dramatically reduces the resources required for cleaning or disposal, thus presenting a route to reducing ultimate costs. The paper will examine the performance characteristics, filtration efficiency, flow verses differential pressure and cleanability of a self cleaning HEPA grade sintered metal filter element, together with data to prove the contention.

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