CINCINNATI, Ohio —
A team of American engineers experienced in nuclear decontamination projects have joined forces to design a system to decontaminate the tsunami waste and soil in Fukushima Prefecture.
The engineering team has broad experience in decommissioning and clean-up at the Fernald, Ohio uranium processing facility and the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant accident. The team has proposed a best practices approach developed from their experience in the U.S. clean-up operations. Their process will include cesium capture during the waste cleaning and cesium capture in the system gas stream.
According to Steve Jones of Green Energy Enterprises, “Incinerators have historically been used in some operations. Their operating history and efficiency has been problematic. The team has chosen a pyrolysis/gasification system to both concentrate the cesium for easier disposal and to efficiently provide much needed electric power from the waste.”
According to reports, small areas in the prefecture may have as much as 250 million tons of contaminated tsunami waste. Some initial estimates have noted the area will need the equivalent of 80 Super Domes to store the contaminated soil. Other estimates are higher.
Glenn Showers of Energy 21, LLC notes, “The pyrolysis design selected has three internal reactors which give us greater control of the gasification process to capture the maximum amount of cesium. The unit is also very clean and efficient in its operation.”
Initially Pyrolyzer, LLC was presenting their waste-to-energy system as an option to aid the area in electric production. During initial meetings, officials in the Fukushima area asked if the system could be adapted to help with decontaminating the area. At that time, a team from Varo Engineers Inc and Energy 21 were assembled to determine options and design a decontamination system.
Feedback from the local governments has been excellent. This system provides a unique capability of effectively consolidating the cesium while producing much needed electric power. By capturing and consolidating the cesium, it can dramatically reduce the country’s landfill requirements.