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Using Nuclear Grade Resin for Ion exchange

Vikas Kumar


In EDF, especially in the nuclear business, ion exchange resins are regularly employed for water purification. High-quality nuclear grade resins must be used in primary and secondary circuits as well as effluent treatment to retain dissolved species, some of which may be radioactive. To decrease worker dose during maintenance and to reduce radioactive resin waste volumes, purification needs to become more and more effective. The right resin qualities must be chosen to minimize these impacts because resin performance is sensitive to several degradation mechanisms, including physical, chemical, thermal, and radioactive deterioration.

To choose these features, develop requirements, and continuously improve upon these specifications, work has been done with research centers, manufacturers, and on EDF sites. An exciting example of resin performance research is the breakdown of resin when exposed to radiation. The highly bead strengthening INDION nuclear grade resins were created after extensive research and contain extremely low amounts of metal, chloride, and organic contaminants. There are many uses for these resins in the nuclear power sector. To protect the integrity of the specific circuits they are employed in, some resins also require additional criteria. EDF recently updated its specifications for these high purity nuclear grade resins, created generic doctrines for all goods and materials used on site, including resins of all classes, and as a result updated a manual on suggested resin usage for the French fleet of reactors.

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