Based on the decision of the State Office for Nuclear Safety, the Dukovany NPP has been obliged to secure the efficient capacities for the disposal of spent ion exchange resins. Therefore, in September 2010, based on the contract with supplier company AMEC Nuclear Slovakia s.r.o. has begun with pumping and treatment of ion exchange resins from the storage tank 0TW30B02, situated in the auxiliary building.
The SIAL® technology, developed in AMEC Nuclear Slovakia, has been used for the solidification purposes. This technology allows an on-site treatment of various special radioactive waste streams (resins, sludge, sludge/resins and borates) at the room temperature.
The SIAL® matrix and technology were licensed by the Czech State Office for Nuclear Safety in 2007.
On-site treatment and solidification of spent ion exchange resins at Dukovany NPP involves process of resin removal from tank using remotely operated manipulator, resin transportation, resin separation from free water, resin filling into 200 dm3 drums and solidification into SIAL® matrix in 200 dm3 drums using the FIZA S 200 facility.
The final product is observed for compressive strength, leachability, radionuclide composition, dose rate, solids and total weight. After meeting the requirements for final disposal and consolidation, the drums are being transported for the final disposal to the Repository at Dukovany site.
During the 3 month’s trial operation in 2010, and the normal operation in 2011 and 2012, 189 tons of dewatered resins have been treated into 1960 drums, with total activity higher than 920 GBq. At the end of trial run (2010), 22 tons of dewatered resins were treated into 235 drums.
During standard operation approximately 91 tons in 960 drums (2011) and 76 tons in 765 drums (2012) were treated. The weights of resins in the drum ware in the range from 89–106 kg and compressive strength limit (10 MPa) has already been achieved 24 hours after fixation. The final measured strength values ranged from 19.0–34.7 MPa and real leachability values ranged from 0.03–0.65%, far below the 4% limit value. Collective effective dose of all workers in 2012 was 7.7 mSv (12.6 mSv in 2011, 6.2 mSv in 2010). Average individual effective dose in 2012 was 0.55 mSv (14 workers), and maximal individual effective dose was 2.25 mSv. This approach allows fast, safe and cost effective immobilization and transformation of dangerous radioactive waste such as sludge and resins into the solid form, which is suitable for long term storage or disposal.