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Electrokinetic Remediation for Nuclear Site Decommissioning (RSC Radiochemistry YRM2021)

Electrokinetic Remediation for Nuclear Site Decommissioning (RSC Radiochemistry YRM2021)
Electrokinetic Remediation for Nuclear Site Decommissioning (RSC Radiochemistry YRM2021)
Electrokinetic Remediation, EKR, is an electrochemical remediation technology that uses electricity to remove pollutants, such as fission products (137Cs, 90Sr), actinides (U-Am) and other radioactive and non-radioactive species, from contaminated nuclear site materials. It is a flexible and low-energy (< 1 V.cm-1) technique that operates effectively in low permeability substrates (cements, etc.) which are difficult to remediate by conventionally (e.g. chemical oxidation). It can be combined with renewable power inputs and operate in-situ, providing effective, safe, and sustainable solutions in which worker exposure to hazardous radiochemicals is minimized while high remediation efficiencies are retained. However, EKR is limited mostly to the laboratory or pilot scale for nuclear industry applications, with reliable, meter-plus scale studies in real operating environments still lacking. Figure 1 – The EKR process, with precipitation of iron-rich phases shown when electrodes used are steel. Cation (C+) and anion (A–) movement with pH gradient, towards electrodes of opposing charge, is shown. Water electrolysis half-cell values are vs. SHE. Here, we discuss EKR and its potential uses at nuclear sites at scale. We begin by summarizing the key advantages offered by EKR over other, conventional remediation methods and, from this, review how EKR, singly or in combination with other technologies, can be or has been applied practically. We also discuss our recent efforts (e.g. analysis by XRD, SEM/EDX, - and Mossbauer spectroscopies, etc.) to understand how a model system, using electrochemically precipitated Fe (Figure 1), influences sorption of selected contaminants in real nuclear materials. The target audience for this contribution cross-cuts academia and industry, developing fundamental concepts (electrochemistry, geochemistry) and applying them to the grand challenge of tackling the UK’s nuclear waste legacy.
Purkis, Jamie
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Hemming, Shaun, Daniel
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Graham, James
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Warwick, Phillip
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Cundy, Andy
994fdc96-2dce-40f4-b74b-dc638286eb08
Purkis, Jamie
17c76efb-2aa2-429e-92b3-5a21de7b02a5
Hemming, Shaun, Daniel
e64b1983-cecb-4cce-9b64-23219c648ab4
Graham, James
d2b35a13-921b-4561-944c-372b3e2fdd89
Warwick, Phillip
f2675d83-eee2-40c5-b53d-fbe437f401ef
Cundy, Andy
994fdc96-2dce-40f4-b74b-dc638286eb08

Purkis, Jamie, Hemming, Shaun, Daniel, Graham, James, Warwick, Phillip and Cundy, Andy (2021) Electrokinetic Remediation for Nuclear Site Decommissioning (RSC Radiochemistry YRM2021). Royal Society of Chemistry Radiochemistry Group Young Researchers Meeting 2021, Online.

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Abstract

Electrokinetic Remediation, EKR, is an electrochemical remediation technology that uses electricity to remove pollutants, such as fission products (137Cs, 90Sr), actinides (U-Am) and other radioactive and non-radioactive species, from contaminated nuclear site materials. It is a flexible and low-energy (< 1 V.cm-1) technique that operates effectively in low permeability substrates (cements, etc.) which are difficult to remediate by conventionally (e.g. chemical oxidation). It can be combined with renewable power inputs and operate in-situ, providing effective, safe, and sustainable solutions in which worker exposure to hazardous radiochemicals is minimized while high remediation efficiencies are retained. However, EKR is limited mostly to the laboratory or pilot scale for nuclear industry applications, with reliable, meter-plus scale studies in real operating environments still lacking. Figure 1 – The EKR process, with precipitation of iron-rich phases shown when electrodes used are steel. Cation (C+) and anion (A–) movement with pH gradient, towards electrodes of opposing charge, is shown. Water electrolysis half-cell values are vs. SHE. Here, we discuss EKR and its potential uses at nuclear sites at scale. We begin by summarizing the key advantages offered by EKR over other, conventional remediation methods and, from this, review how EKR, singly or in combination with other technologies, can be or has been applied practically. We also discuss our recent efforts (e.g. analysis by XRD, SEM/EDX, - and Mossbauer spectroscopies, etc.) to understand how a model system, using electrochemically precipitated Fe (Figure 1), influences sorption of selected contaminants in real nuclear materials. The target audience for this contribution cross-cuts academia and industry, developing fundamental concepts (electrochemistry, geochemistry) and applying them to the grand challenge of tackling the UK’s nuclear waste legacy.

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Jamie Purkis abstract and bio for YRM Radiochem 2021
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More information

Published date: 14 July 2021
Venue - Dates: Royal Society of Chemistry Radiochemistry Group Young Researchers Meeting 2021, Online, 2021-07-14

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 450465
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/450465
PURE UUID: 87bfc244-3354-4c1e-91b1-27e497a7e00f
ORCID for Jamie Purkis: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-6387-1220
ORCID for Shaun, Daniel Hemming: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-5826-8710
ORCID for Andy Cundy: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4368-2569

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 28 Jul 2021 16:32
Last modified: 29 Jul 2021 01:59

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Contributors

Author: Jamie Purkis ORCID iD
Author: James Graham
Author: Phillip Warwick
Author: Andy Cundy ORCID iD

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