EnergySolutions to treat contaminated water at Fukushima

15 March 2012

EnergySolutions has been selected by Toshiba to assist in the cleanup of the large volume of contaminated water at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan.

Toshiba is managing the water treatment effort on behalf of plant owner TEPCO. This is a long-term initiative, which is not scheduled to end until 2012, according to a recent decommissioning plan.

EnergySolutions will support Toshiba in the design and installation of a large treatment system that can remove over 60 radionuclides, as well as the treatment and packaging of secondary wastes resulting from the decontamination process. The system will use EnergySolutions’ Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS™) technology. Finnish firm Fortum will supply highly selective ion exchange media (CsTreat® and SrTreat®) for use in the EnergySolutions system.

As of February 2012, there were over 75,000 tonnes of contaminated water in the reactor buildings with more in various tanks and barges on the Fukushima Daiichi site. Water treatment started on site in June 2011 with an Areva-Kurion decontamination system. This was supplemented by two Toshiba-led SARRY (simplified active water retrieve and recovery system) cesium absorption systems in August and October.

The new EnergySolutions’ system will run in combination with the SARRY systems, a spokesman told NEI. The Areva system will not operate.

Work has already begun on the design and the first kit is due to be delivered to the site in May 2012, with hot testing scheduled for this autumn. Toshiba will carry out fabrication, in Japan.

Mark Morant, president, global commercial group at EnergySolutions said: “The scale of the challenge at Fukushima may be new but the methods needed to deal with it in a safe manner are not and EnergySolutions is the market leader in delivering them.”

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