The project involves the preparation, shipment and treatment of 5,900 tanks, containing 800 tonnes of ion exchange spent resins and 60 tonnes of radioactive sludges, in the Bohunice (Slovakia) facility.
The treatment will use the incineration technique,
while conditioning will be carried out in pods containing radioactive
ashes incorporated in a cement matrix within stainless-steel tanks with a
capacity of 440 l.
The purpose of the project is reducing by 90% the volume of waste (from 1.290 mc to 130 mc), by creating final products to be shipped to the National Repository.
After treatment and conditioning, all waste (final products) will return
to the site where it will be temporarily stored before being shipped to
the National Repository.
The complexity of the project is linked to the identification of suitable pre-treatments for resins and sludges, the management of treatment operations abroad and the recovery of the tanks containing the resins from one of the two interim storage facilities on the site (ERSMA - Medium Activity Waste Building), where this waste was stored in the past.
Starting from 2015, a series of preliminary activities have been carried out. In particular, a characterisation campaign for the resins stored in ERSBA
1 and 2 (Low Activity Solid Waste Building 1 and 2) was implemented in 2015 - 2016. In addition, the adaptation works were carried out on the ERSMA interim
storage facility for the
handling, packaging and characterisation of the tanks extracted from the
shielded cells. Among these, there is the dismantling of the transelevator, used in the past to store the drums in shielded cells and used by Sogin for the recovery of the first batches of tanks. It was replaced in 2018 with a new machine, of superior performance, which allows, with remote control, the extraction of the tanks, about 1,500, more difficult to recover due to their positioning.
In november 2017, the first resin tanks were sent to the Slovak facility to carry out the “cold tests” of the pre-treatment system and the incinerator’s power supply.