The generation of electricity at nuclear power plants gives rise to low and intermediate level radioactive waste that has to be dealt with. Decommissioning of nuclear facilities results in large amounts of waste of different kinds, which can be processed before being stored or sent for final disposal. Studsvik has developed world-leading methods for treating different types of nuclear waste. The methods considerably reduce customers’ costs for subsequent management and storage.
Studsvik carries out waste services at customer sites and at its own facilities. Services that are carried out at customers’ own sites include for example, characterization, sorting and packaging of waste, stabilization and solidification of wet waste, compacting of dry waste and measurement of radioactivity in
waste before treatment and recycling. The servicescarried out at Studsvik’s own facilities are aimed at sorting, stabilizing and reducing the volume of waste, so as to reduce the cost of storage. A large proportion of metallic material can thereby also be recycled.
Organic waste is usually treated using various thermal processes to achieve a chemically stable product suitable for storage or final disposal, but is also melted and sorted to reduce the volume of waste. Apart from traditional incineration, Studsvik also uses pyrolysis, in which material is treated by dry distillation without any oxygen. The Group has developed its own pyrolysis process called THOR SM, which can be used to treat both dry and wet low-level and intermediate level waste. The technique has particular advantages when treating wet waste, such as ion-exchange resins.
Metallic materials are cleaned using different mechanical and chemical methods, usually in combination with melting, enabling most of the material to be radiologically cleared and reused. Increasing the output of and modernizing a power plant is usually done by replacing large components such as turbines, heat exchangers and steam generators with new equipment. These components vary in size and often weigh over 100 tonnes. Studsvik has developed effective methods of dealing with spent components in an environmentally responsible
and cost-effective way.
Decommissioning of nuclear facilities is ongoing in several countries. Studsvik has worked with decommissioning in Sweden and Germany for more than 20 years and in the United Kingdom since 2005, making it an established player in these markets. The decommissioning process is long and complicated.
Studsvik’s services cover the entire decommissioning and dismantling process, from feasibility studies, planning and project management to practical dismantling and subsequent waste treatment. Studsvik has developed its own technology and equipment for certain dismantling and demolition work.
Engineering and Services
The nuclear power industry endeavors to produce as much electric power as possible while maintaining safety. One way of increasing output is to shorten the outage periods for regular maintenance and service. Studsvik has developed methods for making maintenance work more effective and by this means has established a strong position in central Europe with multi-year partner contracts. The services cover qualified consultancy services and mechanical service, as well as decontamination and health physics at nuclear power plants.
The nuclear power industry needs specialized engineering services to establish the strength and expected life of construction materials and fuel, in both operational and reinvestment phases. Studsvik has been carrying out such services for over 60 years and has laboratories where both irradiated and non-irradiated material can be tested and evaluated.
Good fuel economy is central for achieving sound profitability when operating a nuclear power plant. By increasing burn-up of reactor fuel the power extraction can be increased, but operating safety may not be jeopardized when more energy is to be extracted from each fuel element. Studsvik’s software for fuel optimizing and core monitoring is world-leading.