US-based Harper International was recently awarded a contract for a Pusher furnace line by KEPCO Nuclear Fuel (KNF) and a contract to supply a hot cell Rotary thermal processing system for use to treat waste from nuclear medicine production at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO).
Harper's relationship with KNF almost 20 years ago with contracts to supply five new sintering furnace systems. Over the past two years, Harper's Applications, Engineering Technology Groups have developed an advanced heating system for KNF's current project to produce nuclear fuel for their pressurised heavy water reactors.
In addition to the advanced heating element that allows for higher temperature operation, an enhanced furnace shell cooling design has been developed, and both yield longer uniform operational life cycles. Additionally, advances have been made in exit water cooling design, insulation designs, which reduce ambient heat release, and energy usage. Harper is compliant with nuclear specific control systems for mandated upgrades for increased security and reliability.
For the Australian project, the rotary thermal processing system also includes an advanced heating element that is designed for remote operation and maintenance. It will be used for calcination in the ANSTO Synroc process, which is used for managing radioactive waste from the production of the radioisotope Mo-99.