Studsvik signs licence agreement to develop inDRUM waste treatment in South Korea

29 November 2023

Sweden’s Studsvik has signed a Technology Licence Agreement with South Korea’s Dongguk Nuclear Solution, to provide engineering services to support an establishment of an inDRUM in South Korea for radioactive waste treatment. This is a long-term agreement, built on performance and milestones.

Studsvik’s 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.

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 stabilise 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.

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.

The agreement with Dongguk gives Studsvik an initial licence earning of SEK3m ($286,000) followed by milestones giving additional revenues of about SEK30m over 3-5 years. The customer has the right to exit the agreement if the milestones are not achieved. If inDRUM is successfully established, Studsvik has additional earnings potential.

Image: Studsvik’s inDRUM technology is intended for the treatment of problematic wastes, such as legacy wastes in ageing drums (courtesy of Studvik)

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