Spain’s Iberdrola Ingeniería y Construcción and Belgium’s Belgoprocess have completed a plasma waste treatment facility at the Kozloduy nuclear plant in Bulgaria.

The facility uses plasma as a heat source to melt inorganic waste and gasify organic waste. It will be able to treat up to 250t of low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste from Kozloduy 1-4 each year.

A 72-hour test of the plant was carried out in September using non-radioactive waste simulants. Different pours of liquid slag at temperatures of 1300C as well as safety tests were all carried out successfully. Representatives from the European Commission and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development witnessed the tests.

The plasma waste treatment facility is co-financed by the EBRD (70%) and the Bulgarian government (30%). The Iberdrola-Belgoprocess JV won the contract for the plant in 2009. The detailed design for the facility was approved in 2012 and construction began in mid-2015. Commissioning started last October and integrated safety tests were carried out using a hot furnace at the beginning of 2017. 

Bulgaria’s State Enterprise Radioactive Waste (SERAW) will operate the plasma waste treatment facility at Kozloduy.

Photo: Pouring of slag during factory acceptance testing (Credit: Belgoprocess)