Porvair wins US nuclear waste clean-up contracts

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Porvair filtration technology will be deployed at the Hanford Tank Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP) at the Department of Energy (DOE) Hanford Site in Washington State; the Integrated Waste Treatment Unit (IWTU) at the DOE Idaho site on waste-containers destined for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in Carlsbad, New Mexico; and at the DOE Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride (DUF6) conversion facilities in Paducah, Kentucky and Portsmouth, Ohio.

Bechtel National Inc has contracted Porvair to develop novel HEPA filtration technology for use at the WTP. As the largest nuclear waste processing facility in the world, once completed, the WTP will process and stabilize 56 million gallons of radioactive and chemical waste. Newly developed Porvair radial flow HEPA-grade air filters will be used throughout the plant for off-gas and plant-air treatment, serving as a final barrier between radioactive contamination and the public.

Porvair will also be involved in the Idaho Cleanup Project (ICP), providing high-temperature process gas filters for the THOR steam reforming process used to treat waste at the IWTU, currently operated by Fluor Idaho LLC.

At Paducah and Portsmouth, Porvair will be involved in converting DUF6 into depleted uranium oxide. The filtration company will be deploying diffuser media and in-situ cleanable process filters manufactured from high-nickel alloys for use in the high-temperature and corrosive environments present within the conversion process vessels. The plants, currently operated by Mid-America Conversion Services, are planned to run for several decades in order to process the approximately 800 000 metric tons of DUF6 at the two sites.

Porvair is also supplying filters that will be deployed on nitrate-salt waste containers currently stored at Los Alamos National Lab (LANL). These filters will play a critical role in the processing of specific wastes at LANL by providing a controlled release of pressure with HEPA-level protection in the event of chemical reactions within the waste containers.