Studsvik and GNS to co-operate on waste treatment in Germany

6 September 2023

Swedish nuclear technical services provider Studsvik and German radioactive waste specialist Gesellschaft fu¨r Nuklear-Service (GNS) have formed a strategic and exclusive cooperation arrangement “to combine their expertise to tackle the challenge of problematic waste in a safe and efficient way.” The aim is to further develop, qualify and implement Studsvik’s patented inDRUM technology for use in the German market.

Studsvik’s patented inDRUM technology is intended for the treatment of problematic wastes, such as legacy wastes in ageing drums. Use of the technology results in an inert residue, significant volume reduction and enables drums to be managed with minimal manual handling. Studsvik has experience in treating problematic waste with different thermochemical systems as well as offering such solutions to customers.

The inDrum technology is a small-scale version of Studsvik’s steam reforming technology for the treatment of larger volumes of Dry Active Waste (DAW), Trans Uranic Waste (TRU), contaminated liquid resins (IER), nitrates, sludges, and other difficult to treat waste streams. It can treat the same range of materials and provides similar benefits in stabilising problematic waste to meet acceptance criteria for land fill. No pre-sorting/opening existing drums containing waste is necessary, eliminating the risk of personnel exposure that might occur in opening the drums.

This batch thermo-chemical system treats containerised radioactive wastes by means of in-container thermal treatment to remove the free liquids. It destroys organics, and deactivates corrosives and reactive materials from the containers. The thermally decomposed waste form is an inert, inorganic dry char (ash-like substance), reduced in volume by up to 90%.

The process comprises two main treatment systems: an electrically-heated container treatment vessel (CTV), where thermal treatment of drums is performed, followed by an off-gas treatment system that oxidises any volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide, and traces of hydrogen volatised from the CTV. This removes and/or neutralises any acid gases, mercury or iodine present in the off-gas stream.

GNS specialises in the disposal of high-level radioactive waste and used reactors fuel, as well as in the safe processing, packaging, and storage of low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste and residues resulting from NPP operation. The company has expertise and experience in the characterisation of nuclear waste materials; associated waste management and treatment activities; decontamination; release and clearance; and the management of waste streams from activated components and building structures of nuclear facilities.

Studsvik CEO Camilla Hoflund said by bringing together GNS’s capabilities, experience and existing infrastructure in Germany, with Studsvik’s waste thermal treatment technology “we offer solutions to problematic waste for the German market”. The inDRUM technology “is the perfect complement to our well-established waste treatment capabilities,” said Daniel Oehr, CEO of GNS. “It will enable us to solve even the challenges of treating problematic waste in a safe, efficient, and sustainable way for our customers.”

Image courtesy of GNS

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