Fukushima water treatment system achieving performance goals for throughput, cesium removal

Aug. 29, 2011
Nuclear waste management company Kurion said that, as of August 17, cesium levels in the contaminated water within the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant had dropped by more than 40% since startup of its water treatment system two months ago...
High Level Kurion System Process Diagram

IRVINE, CA, Aug. 29, 2011 -- Nuclear waste management company Kurion said that, as of August 17, cesium levels in the contaminated water within the facilities of the tsunami-damaged Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant had dropped by more than 40% since startup of the water treatment system two months ago.

Kurion's Ion Specific Media System is a component of the site's reactor water cooling Water Treatment Facility. Kurion's 50 MT/hour (220 gpm) rated system is designed to remove approximately 99.9% of the cesium, the principal source of radioactivity in the contaminated water.

Analysis from August 16th of water treatment facility operations shows, with the exception of a few initial operational issues, the Kurion system has quick upset recovery mechanisms and no constraining radioactive hotspots.

That same analysis also confirms that pump redundancy in the Kurion system allows for prompt resumption of operations following a pump trip, minimizing throughput impacts. According to Kurion, because of the system's pump redundancies and high design margin, it has recently been operating at its design throughput with only three of its four lines, limited by the processing capacity of downstream Water Treatment Facility systems. Since its cesium removal technology is a passive approach, the Kurion system is capable of operating using no system pumps with sufficient pressure at the inlet connection.

Additional processing capacity started up August 18th with the goal of polishing the Kurion effluent by removing the small amount of remaining cesium or operating in parallel to increase the Water Treatment Facility processing rate to 100 MT/hour.

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