Decommissioning refers to the formal process leading to the irreversible complete or partial closure of a nuclear facility, typically a nuclear reactor. This can result from the diminishing efficiency of the reactor over time, and it is a normal part of the life cycle of nuclear facilities. Numerous nuclear power plants across the world have been decommissioned during the past few decades, and multiple reactors are scheduled for decommissioning in the next 20 years.
Decommissioning is a time consuming and careful process, as the handling of radioactive waste needs to be done with extreme caution to ensure the safety of both people and the environment. The whole process takes approximately 15 to 30 years to complete, and by the end of it, there should be no radiological danger, and the land should be available for unrestricted re-use.
This blog post will explore how Altum’s technology can be utilized in the decommissioning process to ensure a more efficient operation with increased nuclear safety and lower costs.
Altum’s ZPD solution for decommissioning activities
Decommissioning consists of multiple different stages, such as fuel removal, decontamination, processing and disposing radioactive waste and dismantling different equipment. Traditional decontamination methods include chemical cleaning, mechanical cleaning using abrasive techniques or tools, high-pressure water jets and different surface coats to decontaminate equipment. Altum’s solution can be used to address the challenges posed by these methods, which involve extensive labor, expenses, and safety concerns.
Altum’s solution can be used to effectively remove contaminants and lower radiation levels, making decommissioning both safer and more effective: reducing and removing radiation enables the waste to be recycled, which eliminates the need for high-cost radioactive waste storage. Our unique patented ultrasound technology can easily be attached on the exterior of straight pipes or directly on other components such as elbows, valves, filters, and pumps, minimizing the need to handle radioactive equipment. The system does the work with minimal effort required from the customer.
Increased safety, efficiency, and cost savings
Using Altum’s solution for decommissioning activities paves way for significant advantages, ranging from increased efficiency to safety and cost savings.
Key benefits of using Altum’s ultrasound solution for decommissioning include:
- Optimized Decontamination: Superior to manual methods, ensuring thorough cleanup.
- Flexibility: Adaptable to various equipment and components.
- Safety: Minimized worker exposure through remote application and minimal handling of equipment.
- Waste Volume Reduction: Efficient cleaning potentially reduces radioactive waste classification.
- Cost Savings: Reduced consumables, labor, and disposal costs.
- Efficiency: Faster treatment compared to traditional methods.
A core benefit of Altum’s technology for all industries is creating a positive environmental impact. In decommissioning, using ultrasound for decontamination reduces the need for potentially harmful chemicals, which makes the process much more environmentally friendly.
Decommissioning is a vital part of the nuclear industry, and as a process it requires time, precision, and attention to safety. Altum’s ZPD ultrasound solution makes decommissioning safer and more efficient, leading to savings in both labor and material expenses.
If you’re interested in utilizing our solution for decommissioning activities or have further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us!
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