Tetronics partners with Costain under government innovation programme for nuclear waste management
Tetronics International, the global leader in the supply of Direct Current (DC) plasma plants for hazardous waste treatment and metal recovery, is delighted to announce that together with its lead partner Costain it has been successful in winning a grant in a UK government funded competition to design and build a prototype plasma system for nuclear waste vitrification. The competition is led by the Technology Strategy Board, the UK’s innovation agency, and co-funded by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.
In collaboration, Costain and Tetronics will develop a plasma waste vitrification system, which will both reduce the volume and significantly enhance the stability of the final waste product to be stored, with the ultimate goal of reducing the overall cost of managing nuclear waste.
Tetronics’ plasma technology uses intense temperatures and ultra-violet light to treat hazardous and industrial wastes, and metal bearing wastes. In the instance of nuclear waste management, the plasma vitrification process stabilises the radioactive waste and decreases the volume of waste product before intermediate storage and then geological disposal.
In making the announcement, Business Secretary Vince Cable said, *“There are huge global opportunities that the UK is well placed to take advantage of in the nuclear industry. Our strong research base will help develop exciting new technologies that can be commercialised here and then exported across the globe.”
Bryony Livesey, Costain Research and Technology Manager said, “I am delighted that Costain has secured this project from the Technology Strategy Board competition. We look forward to working with Tetronics to develop nuclear aligned plasma technology that can play a key role in reducing the costs of nuclear waste management in the UK.”
Paul Campbell, Business Development Director for Costain Nuclear Process said, “Costain is co-funding programmes of work to enable the smarter treatment of Intermediate Level Waste (ILW), to divert such wastes from the proposed long term Geological Disposal Facility (GDF), and also to develop solutions, such as Tetronics’ plasma technology that significantly reduces the final waste volume to be stored in the GDF.”
Stephen Davies, CEO for Tetronics International said, “We are delighted to be part of this project to address the UK’s nuclear waste legacy. Our assessments indicate the likely lifetime cost savings of using plasma vitrification to stabilise the unprocessed inventory of wet Intermediate Level Waste (ILW) amounts to billions of pounds of tax payer savings in the UK alone.”
* Technology Strategy Board Press Release.