The UK’s National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) has just announced a joint project with U.S. waste treatment company Kurion, to deploy a full-scale, active, In-Container Vitrification (ICV) plant based on Kurion’s GeoMelt®technology, at NNL’s flagship Central Laboratory on the Sellafield site.
NNL is the UK’s national laboratory for civil nuclear science and technology, providing advice to government, protecting key skills, supporting industry and delivering national nuclear programmes. NNL is bringing the Kurion GeoMelt process alongside its existing capabilities in thermal waste treatment, based in and around its Central Laboratory on the Sellafield site.
Kurion provides technology solutions to minimize and stabilize nuclear and hazardous waste through two families of technologies: separation and stabilization systems. Kurion’s separation technology segregates radioactive elements and includes the company’s Ion Specific Media, which is currently deployed at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant for cesium removal, and its new Modular Detritiation System to separate tritium from contaminated water. Kurion’s stabilization technology converts waste into a leach-resistant glass through vitrification, which is widely recognized as the “gold standard” for nuclear waste disposal. The company’s GeoMelt vitrification technology is ideal for treating solid and bulk waste, while its Modular Vitrification System is designed for liquid waste.
“The GeoMelt plant at Sellafield creates a platform to evaluate the vitrification technology for the variety of wastes at the site and creates a treatment path for small, problematic waste streams that currently have no disposition pathway,” said Brett Campbell, vice president of GeoMelt Technologies for Kurion. “Additionally, the plant creates an opportunity for Kurion’s engineers to collaborate with National Nuclear Laboratory experts on the treatment of nuclear and hazardous waste across Europe.”
NNL’s Director of Waste Management and Decommissioning, Nick Hanigan, added: “I'm delighted that NNL and Kurion are working together on this important project to help deal with nuclear wastes - both in the UK, on sites such as Sellafield, and elsewhere in the world. Together we hope to provide the nuclear industry with a ready-made platform which will demonstrate the treatment of a variety of waste streams and realise the benefits of thermal waste treatment as rapidly as possible."