Modelling the ion exchange process in pressurised water reactors


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Lee, Nathan (2021). Modelling the ion exchange process in pressurised water reactors. University of Birmingham. Eng.D.

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The process of ion exchange is one of the most common ways of removing unwanted or damaging ions from an effluent stream and is used in coolant treatment. Ion exchange is used within the treatment systems for coolant streams in nuclear power plants; specifically for the removal of radioactive ions such as cobalt-60 to minimise exposure risks to people in the immediate environment and those required to undertake maintenance. Other ions, such as nickel, iron and zinc are also present in the primary circuit and can form various other radionuclides contributing to increased levels of activity in the plant.

This work encompasses determining parameters such as rate constants and selectivity coefficients of the mentioned species in order to input them into a custom-built model. In addition, this work looks at determining temperature dependent equations for ion exchange resin degradation, as well as for the rate constants and selectivity coefficients. The model will be able to predict the behaviour of ion exchange resins and the primary coolant flowing through taking into consideration typical PWR chemistry, activation products and various interactions with the resins in an ion exchange column. This work has only considered the use of cations and cationic ion exchange resins.

It was found that the model was able to accurately predict plant chemistry using a range of different input concentrations species. Validating the model predictions against experimental data showed discrepancies, however it was able to show correct trends of species removal via ion exchange. Finally, the model was able to show similar trends with regards to plant activity removal and demonstrated the capability of being able to predict an ion exchange resins' lifetime.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Eng.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Eng.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
School or Department: School of Chemical Engineering
Funders: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Subjects: T Technology > TP Chemical technology


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