Treatment of radioactive organic liquids

​​Status: Ongoing 
Period: 2017-2024

Saluggia EUREX Plant houses an underground tank containing 15 cubic metres of low-level radioactive organic liquid waste resulted from previous site operations. 

The treatment programme was launched in 2017 through the implementation of a waste sampling system for characterisation aimed at drafting a project for the extraction and immobilisation of the substance in specific tanks. 

Due to its low radioactivity level and organic nature, this waste cannot be conditioned through solidification in CEMEX complex; it is, instead, sent to thermal treatment in a licensed foreign facility with subsequent conditioning of residual ash. 

To be shipped to the foreign plant, the waste needs to be previously immobilised in solid form within specific tanks. Immobilisation must be carried out through materials that can easily be destroyed during the thermal treatment without volumetric increases of the waste size.

Extraction and immobilisation procedures will be carried out in a light-confinement facility, statically and dynamically insulated, and built in self-bearing modular panels made of reinforced glass fibre. The facility will be dismantled upon completion of the works. 

The extraction of organic liquid waste will be implemented through a suction system; the latter will enable the waste to be transferred from the storage tank to the containers where it will be stabilised through specific absorbent polymers. 

The containers will be subsequently stored in a specific area at site, before being sent abroad. It is estimated the production of 20 final containers with ash incorporated in cement mortar, for a total gross volume of 11 cubic metres

The final products will return to EUREX plant for storage before being finally shipped to the National Repository. The waste liquid extraction, immobilisation and thermal treatment for incineration may be only initiated upon reception of the necessary authorisations, which usually last for approx. 24 months.