As the world pushes toward its net-zero emissions goal by 2050, nuclear power is seen as one crucial way to bridge the energy gap. Although nuclear energy has the potential to generate vast quantities of low-carbon electricity, different issues are faced by the industry, such as extensive maintenance tasks requiring downtime in addition to strict safety requirements.
For global nuclear power to be sustainable and to contribute to the world´s energy supply mix in the long term, it must respond to the challenges of further development. Among these challenges are the availability of uranium resources, management of waste, safety, public acceptance, ageing of the facilities and workforce, complex infrastructure, and non-proliferation.
This article will discuss different ways Altum’s ZPD (Zero Process Downtime) ultrasound solution can be utilized in the nuclear industry for safer and more efficient operations. Read on to find out more.
Towards cleaner energy
Although the nuclear industry raises debate, the benefits of nuclear energy can’t be overlooked.
Current world challenges, such as energy demand, climate change, and energy security, are opportunities for the nuclear industry. Many projections forecast significant growth in nuclear power both in countries currently using it and in countries considering its use for the first time.
Significant attention is given to developing new reactors and fuels that will increase the overall performance of nuclear technologies and reduce the amount of nuclear waste that is produced. The technology involved in its production is continuously improving. Emitting just 10-15 grams of CO2 equivalent per kilowatt hour, nuclear power is much cleaner compared to many other energy sources. It’s competitive with both wind and solar energy and substantially better than coal and natural gas.
Altum’s ultrasound technology – A versatile solution
In the nuclear industry and radioactive waste management, innovative technologies play a crucial role in enhancing safety and minimizing environmental impact. Altum’s ultrasound technology is one of the innovative solutions developed for the improvement of different industries, and it has multiple applications also in the nuclear industry.
Examples of Altum’s applications in the nuclear industry focusing on reducing radiation include:
- Dose reduction. Radioactive contamination can occur in various process equipment, such as pipes, valves, filters, pumps, pools, and tanks, both in active power plants and those undergoing decommissioning. Ultrasound technology offers a non-invasive solution for removing or reducing radioactive material from these components. This process, known as dose reduction, helps minimize radiation exposure and protect the environment.
- Removal of hot spots. Hot spots are areas with elevated levels of radioactivity, posing a significant hazard. Altum’s versatile ultrasound technology targets and dislodges radioactive hot spots or specific particles, facilitating their removal and subsequent capture in filtration systems.
- Cleaning of radioactive waste for decommissioning activities. The decommissioning of nuclear facilities generates a substantial amount of radioactive waste. Cleaning and decontaminating this waste are challenging tasks. Ultrasound technology comes to the rescue by enabling the reduction or removal of radiation from radioactive waste materials. This not only enhances safety but also makes it possible to recycle some of the waste, eliminating the need for costly radioactive waste storage.
In addition to the above, Altum’s solution can also be used for:
- Cleaning and decontamination of systems containing both Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluids. In the nuclear industry, systems often contain a mix of Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluids. These fluids can be challenging to clean and decontaminate. Ultrasound technology proves its adaptability once again by effectively cleaning and decontaminating systems with both types of fluids. It ensures that radioactive contaminants are removed from the system, maintaining safety standards.
In conclusion, Altum’s ultrasound technology has emerged as a valuable tool in the management of radioactive materials and contamination. Its applications in dose reduction, removal of hot spots, waste cleaning, and system decontamination contribute to safer, more sustainable and more efficient practices in the nuclear industry.
Benefits of Altum’s ZPD solution – Safety first
Safety is, without a doubt, key in all operations linked with the nuclear industry. In this field, the key issues are reducing the spread of radiation to the environment and ensuring employee safety. Our unique technology, which is easy to install and use, has been shown to be safe and effective for the decontamination of nuclear components.
Benefits of using Altum´s software guided ZPD technology include:
- Reducing the contamination of specific components to lower employees’ exposure to radiation during maintenance activities.
- Altum’s unique software-controlled power ultrasound solution keeps your process equipment clean from contamination without dismantling it or stopping production.
- Altum’s technology enables the ultrasound to be directed and controlled and generates more than 16 times as much power compared to other ultrasonic cleaning systems, leading to better efficiency and results.
- The system is simple and easy to install and can be operated at the site or remotely
Overall, Altum’s ultrasound system increases the safety of your operations, reduces time and cost spent on maintenance activities and increases the lifetime and performance of your equipment.
Do you want to find out more about how Altum can help your company make your nuclear operations even safer and cleaner? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!