Presented during the online edition of Euroinvent 2020 an innovative system for the treatment and reuse of nuclear fuel waste products
The search for alternative energy sources to fossil fuels is always very active. Among the alternatives is nuclear energy. Nuclear power plants have now been in operation for several decades and provide energy in many countries around the world. However, one of the problems still unresolved is the management of the radioactive waste that is produced as a result of nuclear reactions in the core. An interesting solution was presented during the Euroinvent 2020 event, held from 21 to 23 May online due to the pandemic.
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The invention was presented by Ion Cristescu and won one of the gold medals awarded by the jury of the event. The patented technology (RO 129854/2019) consists of a chemical reactor to reprocess the isotopes produced by CANDU plants and produces plutonium isotopes and a fuel composed of a mixture of oxides. The reactor consists of modules generating nitrogen isotopes of uranium and plutonium, extraction modules, a washing plant with distilled water and a crystallisation reactor.
The main advantages of the reactor are: 40% improved productivity compared to plants already used, higher reaction yields compared to the current spent fuel treatment methods, high purity of uranium and plutonium isotopes, possibility to recycle elements such as zirconium and metal oxides and a high degree of plant safety. Further information can be found in the catalogue of inventions presented at Euroinvent 2020.