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Mixed Waste Destruction


Development of the technology of catalytic fluidized bed destruction of mixed organic wastes containing radionuclides.

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-RWT/Radioactive Waste Treatment/Environment

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Nagai H

Leading Institute
Boreskov Institute of Catalysis, Russia, Novosibirsk reg., Akademgorodok

Supporting institutes

  • Novosibirsk Chemical Concentrates Plant, Russia, Novosibirsk reg., Novosibirsk\nElectrochemical Plant, Russia, Krasnoyarsk reg., Krasnoyarsk-45\nAngarsky Electrolyte Chemical Enterprise, Russia, Irkutsk reg., Angarsk\nVNIPIET (Novosibirsk Branch), Russia, Novosibirsk reg., Novosibirsk


  • EG&G Rocky Flats, Inc. / Rocky Flats Plant, USA, CO, Golden\nBritish Nuclear Fuels Ltd (BNFL) / Brussel's Office, Belgium, Brussels\nLawrence Livermore National Laboratory, USA, CA, Livermore\nGEC Alsthom, France, Paris

Project summary

The purpose of the proposal is to develop a new process of incineration of mixed, organic wastes containing radionuclides in a fluidized catalyst bed - a method that is considered to be an environmentally safe means of radioactive waste treatment. The principal participants in this project are the Boreskov Institute of Catalysis SB RAS (IC), Novosibirsk Department of Research and Design Institute of Complex Energy Technologies (NO VNIPIET), the Plant of Chemical Concentrates, Novosibirsk, and a number of nuclear material processing plants in Krasnoyarsk-26, Krasnoyarsk-45, Tomsk-7, Angarsk Electrolysis and Chemistry Complex. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and the Rocky Flats Plant (RPP), plus supporting organizations such as the Colorado School of Mines would support the project by providing consultation on fluidized-bed oxidation technology and conducting separate assessments of catalyst efficiency.

In the Institute of Catalysis, the catalysts and processes for ecologically safe fuel combustion, gas exhaust purification, organic waste treatment and decontamination of industrial waste waters are being developed. One of the major lines of activity of the Department of Environmental Catalysis of 10 is the investigation of combustion of fuels and organic wastes in a fluidized catalyst bed.

A unique feature of the proposed method is the possibility of complete oxidation of organic compounds in stoichiometric mixtures with air at sufficiently low temperatures (600-700 °C), to prevent thermal NOx formation. This is accomplished by use of active catalysts in a fluidized bed which provides effective removal of reaction heat. Testing of catalytic combustion of various wastes: organic solvents, chemical industry wastes, nitrogen-containing compounds, used liquid scintillators, etc. was carried out in bench and pilot-scale installations.

In this project, the technological scheme and. equipment for the destruction of mixed, organic wastes formed, at nuclear material processing plants will be worked, out. These wastes have complex composition and. consist of industrial oils, vacuum greases, and. used. extractants and their solvents (among them Cl- and. P-containing compounds) with admixtures of U, Pu and. their fission products.

Russian project participants will make an inventory of organic wastes, verify their qualitative and quantitative composition, prepare Technical Task Plans (TTP) for research and development work, and deliver inactive model mixtures to 10 for preliminary destruction tests in bench setups. These studies will furnish new data on catalytic combustion of Cl- and. P-containing compounds necessary for the preparation of novel catalysts and process optimization. NO VNIPIET will develop an efficient gas cleaning system after the catalytic reactor with the application of new technical approaches ensuring the necessary purity of gaseous emissions.

Based on the results obtained, IC and NO VNIPIET will prepare a TTP for a plant design, according to which NO VNIPIET will make construction documentation for a demonstration plant with a capacity 300 tons of wastes per year.

IC will oversee the preparation of catalysts for use in the demonstration plant. The plant will be constructed at the Plant of Chemical Concentrates. Tests of the plant will be conducted with the participation of all Russian and American project participants. The resulting experience will assist in the introduction of the improved destruction process at other nuclear material processing plants in Russia. This information will also be useful to waste-processing specialists in the USA.

The program proposed will allow a number of weapons scientists, engineers and technicians in Russia to redirect their talents to the solution of international environmental problems and to solve the particular problem of treating the mixed wastes accumulated at nuclear material processing plants.


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