Decontamination & Waste Treatment

Companies that deal with undesirable or unexpected radioactivity – such as Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM) contamination – and which do not possess a Nuclear Energy Act licence can rely on NRG’s expertise for the decontamination and required administrative processing.

DECONTAMINATION & WASTE TREATMENT SERVICES

  • Decontamination of radioactively contaminated parts (process) parts
  • Treatment of liquid radioactive waste streams
  • Preparation and conditioning of solid radioactive waste
  • Transport/disposal of radioactive material


NRG has a unique on-site decontamination facility which is used to decontaminate radioactively contaminated items and treat radioactive waste streams. The DWT is connected to a filtered ventilation system ensuring that no particles end up in the environment. Furthermore, the radiation levels are continuously monitored with sensitive measuring equipment, guaranteeing the safe processing of radioactive materials.

Decontamination
In the oil and gas industry, the minerals, sand and ore-processing industries and the geothermal sector, radioactive substances can build up (in sludges) or later be deposited (as scales) in installation parts such as pipework, pumps, valves and tanks. In terms of radiation protection, this contamination must be removed before inspection, maintenance or repair can take place. This involves decontaminating radioactively contaminated tools, installations, or parts thereof, using decontamination techniques like high pressure, abrasive, ultrasonic and chemical cleaning methods. After decontamination and if desired, NRG can return the items/materials to the owner with a release certificate. The resulting radioactive waste is treated, stored or disposed of by NRG.

 

Photo: Decontamination at DWT

Water treatment
The radioactive waste water is produced by the nuclear installations and laboratories on the Petten site. This waste water is collected in storage basins and then treated in day tanks at the DWT. Through flocculation, the contaminated particles stick together after which a solid/liquid separation occurs in the day tank. The water fraction is microfiltrated using membrane filters. After analysis, the filtered water is discharged into the sea.

Photo: Filtration unit at DWT

Sludge drying
The sludge fraction resulting from the water treatment is centrifuged and dried. The dry material is stored in drums for transport/disposal to COVRA.

Solid waste treatment
To reduce treatment costs, the solid waste is conditioned using techniques like compaction, cutting and drying. All the ‘released’ radioactive materials are collected, compressed, packaged in drums and finally transported to a recognised storage/treatment facility (e.g. COVRA).

NRG REFERENCES:

  • High pressure decontamination of well test equipment
  • Decontamination of coiled tubing
  • Compaction of radioactive waste
  • Disposal of radioactive scrap