Nuclear power plants will generate low level contaminated liquid waste from floor runoff, washing operations, and fuel pool maintenance that can be treated to concentrate the contaminants and reduce the volume of waste.
Ammonium ion forms when pH is less than 9 (preferably less than 8). Ammonium is a monovalent cation. Cation resins such as CG8 and CG10 have modest selectivity for ammonium ion compared to sodium but poor selectivity compared to hardness ions such as calcium and magnesium. SIR-600 has very high selectivity for ammonium but fairly low capacity and requires a rather large salt dose (typically at least 30 lbs NaCl per cu ft).
Antimony is a chemical element with symbol Sb (from Latin: stibium) and atomic number 51. A lustrous gray metalloid, it is found in nature mainly as the sulfide mineral stibnite (Sb2S3). Antimony compounds have been known since ancient times and were powdered for use as medicine and cosmetics, often known by the Arabic name, kohl. Metallic antimony was also known, but it was erroneously identified as lead upon its discovery. In the West, it was first isolated by Vannoccio Biringuccio and described in 1540.
For some time, China has been the largest producer of antimony and its compounds, with most production coming from the Xikuangshan Mine in Hunan. The industrial methods for refining antimony are roasting and reduction with carbon or direct reduction of stibnite with iron.
Pure antimony is a soft brittle metal. Antimony forms similar compounds to its sister element arsenic and is most commonly found in its +3 oxidation state. The largest applications for metallic antimony is an alloy with lead and tin and the lead antimony plates in lead–acid batteries. Alloys of lead and tin with antimony have improved properties for solders, bullets and plain bearings.It is also used as a component in fire retardants and in certain organic chemical synthesis.
The iron based strong base anion hybrids are effective to remove antimony from borated waters found in nuclear power plants.
Caesium or cesium is a chemical element with symbol Cs and atomic number 55. It is a soft, silvery-gold alkali metal with a melting point of 28.5 °C (83.3 °F), which makes it one of only five elemental metals that are liquid at or near room temperature. Caesium has physical and chemical properties similar to those of rubidium and potassium. It is the least electronegative element. It has only one stable isotope, caesium-133. Caesium is mined mostly from pollucite, while the radioisotopes, especially caesium-137, a fission product, are extracted from waste produced by nuclear reactors.
The German chemist Robert Bunsen and physicist Gustav Kirchhoff discovered caesium in 1860 by the newly developed method of flame spectroscopy. The first small-scale applications for caesium were as a “getter” in vacuum tubes and in photoelectric cells. In 1967, acting on Einstein’s proof that the speed of light is the most constant dimension in the universe, the International System of Units used two specific wave counts from an emission spectrum of caesium-133 to co-define the second and the metre. Since then, caesium has been widely used in highly accurate atomic clocks.
Metallic cesium is highly reactive in both air and especially in water, reacting explosively, even temperatures as low as −116 °C (−177 °F). Cesium exclusively forms a monovalent cation. Almost all cesium salts are readily soluble in water.
SIR-600 has extremely high selectivity for cesium. Cesium is captured by molecular sieving in addition to in exchange. Hydrogen form cation resins such as CG8-H can also be used but their ability to remove cesium is limited by other ions in solution. In general when using SAC type resins to remove cesium it is necessary to remove all the other cations along with cesium.
Radioactive iodine is a manmade isotope with properties similar to other isotopes of iodine. Radio-iodine is present in water as iodide. As a trace ion it can be removed by various types of strong base anion resins, favoring the higher amines. Silver and silver impregnated medias show increased affinity for iodides.
Pertechnetate, Tc-99, is a technician compound used in some pharmaceutical radioisotope applications.
Radium is a chemical element with symbol Ra and atomic number 88. It is the sixth element in group 2 of the periodic table, also known as the alkaline earth metals. Pure radium is silvery-white, but it readily combines with nitrogen (rather than oxygen) on exposure to air, forming a black surface layer of radium nitride (Ra3N2). All isotopes of radium are highly radioactive, with the most stable isotope being radium-226, which has a half-life of 1600 years and decays into radon gas (specifically the isotope radon-222). When radium decays, ionizing radiation is a product, which can excite fluorescent chemicals and cause radioluminescence.
Radium is the daughter product of uranium decay and is heaviest alkaline earth metal. It was discovered in the form of radium chloride by Marie and Pierre Curie in 1898. They extracted the radium compound from uraninite and published the discovery at the French Academy of Sciences five days later. Radium was isolated in its metallic state by Marie Curie and André-Louis Debierne through the electrolysis of radium chloride in 1911.
It has the property of luminescence and was once used to make watch dials glow in the dark as well as for various quack products.
Radium forms a divalent cation in water and can be removed by water softening resins, along with other hardness ions. Except for the first exhaustion cycle, radium leakage occurs shortly after hardness leakage occurs, therefore the resin is used as an ordinary softener with brine regeneration at regular intervals.
The highly crosslinked macroporous cation resin have extended first cycle operation past hardness break and can be used in single use applications when hardness and TDS are not too high. RSM-50 has barium sulfate deposited in the pores of the resin. Radium is first exchanged and then transfer to the precipitant, allowing much higher loading and longer throughput.
Silica levels must be maintained at very low levels in the nuclear cycle. Most methods of removal also remove boron, which is used in the system as a moderator. Specialty forms of borated ion exchange resin will selectively remove silica in these environments and maintain the desired boron level.
Like cesium, strontium is a fission product radionuclide which can appear in impacted groundwaters.
Nuclear energy development left a legacy of groundwater contamination in some locations that include the presence of some heavy metals and chromate.
Uranium is a chemical element with symbol U and atomic number 92. It is a silvery-white metal in the actinide series of the periodic table. A uranium atom has 92 protons and 92 electrons, of which 6 are valence electrons. Uranium is weakly radioactive because all its isotopes are unstable (with half-lives of the six naturally known isotopes, uranium-233 to uranium-238, varying between 69 years and 4.5 billion years). The most common isotopes in natural uranium are uranium-238 (which has 146 neutrons and accounts for over 99%) and uranium-235 (which has 143 neutrons). Uranium has the highest atomic weight of the primordially occurring elements. Its density is about 70% higher than that of lead, and slightly lower than that of gold or tungsten.
It occurs naturally in low concentrations of a few parts per million in soil, rock and water, and is commercially extracted from uranium-bearing minerals such as uraninite.
In nature, uranium is found as uranium-238 (99.2739–99.2752%), uranium-235 (0.7198–0.7202%), and a very small amount of uranium-234 (0.0050–0.0059%). Although U238 is almost stable, U235 is significantly radioactive and also fissile (can support chain reactions). Uranium decays slowly by emitting an alpha particle. The half-life of uranium-238 is about 4.47 billion years and that of uranium-235 is 704 million years, making them useful in dating the age of the Earth.
Uranium in potable waters is readily removed by a variety of strong base anion resins. Although anion resins are considered the best available technology for small systems, their use is complicated by limitations on disposal of wastes that contain uranium residuals.
Uranium can be removed from acidic mining wastes by a variety of strong acid cation resins.
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