Plasma arc disposal of low-level Radioactive Waste

During operation of nuclear power plants and facilities of other industries, in the process of liquidation of consequences of accidents at these facilities and conducting scientific research produces large amounts of solid and liquid Radioactive Waste (RW). The use of low-temperature plasma technology for treatment of RW to get highly stable forms of processed products (with high chemical resistance to aggressive environmental influences) is promising.

The low-temperature plasma technology allows treating the solid and liquid radioactive waste of low-level and intermediate-level of activity, such as fabric, paper, plastic, wood, process fluids, clothing, shoes, wires, etc.

The main advantages of plasma processing method:
  • high specific performance with small size equipment;
  • the ability to create the desired gas atmosphere in reactor and processing of various types of waste without pre-sorting;
  • a greater reduction in the volume of RW and flue gases;
  • getting the end-products in the form of remelted ash or slag compound with high chemical resistance to aggressive environmental influences.

The technological process of treatment of RW in a plasma reactor includes the following stages:

  • Gasification of RW (incomplete evaporation and output of volatile components);
  • Pyrolysis of organic part of RW with subsequent process of purification of pyro gas and its combustion in the chamber of the homogeneous combustion;
  • Burning out the coke residue;
  • Melting of the ash and incombustible impurities for obtaining chemically and mechanically resistant slag with a high content of radionuclides.

As a result of processing the volume of waste is reduced by 10-15 times, and the radionuclides are concentrated. The radionuclides are safely immobilized in the resulting product and cannot penetrate into the environment.

After the treatment of the RW is finalized, the inert slag is then disposed of in the normal way – burial or long term storage.

Plasma Furnace PP-100RW for the treatment low-level Radioactive Waste

Plasma Furnace PP-100RW is used for the treatment toxic waste and low-level radioactive contaminated wast. It has a capacity to process 100kg of waste per hour. The furnace has the following configuration:
  • Plasma pyrolysis furnace PPF-100
  • Plasma block with 2 plasma arc torches
  • Electric power supplies for plasma torches
  • Waste-feeding system
  • System for slag removal
  • Control system

Power used by the Plasma Furnace with an after burning chamber is 150 кW.

The Plasma Furnace PP-100RW is shown in the following figures.


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