EPRI and Purolite Commercialize Technology to Remove Cobalt from Reactor Coolant

The Electric Power Research Institute recently announced an agreement with Purolite to commercialize a resin that helps remove radioactive cobalt from the water systems of nuclear power plants.

Corrosion in plant piping introduces small amounts of cobalt and nickel into reactor coolant. Upon irradiation, these impurities create cobalt-60 and cobalt-58, isotopes that contribute to occupational radiation exposure during outages. Drawing from technology used in biopharmaceutical production, EPRI spent four years developing a resin called CoSeq that the organization says is four times more effective at removing radioactive cobalt than existing ion exchange resins. In a paper outlining the technology, EPRI said its product is expected to allow workers to enter containment earlier during outages and reduce the time to flood-up, saving replacement power costs.

In a release Wednesday, EPRI announced that Purolite will make the resin available in commercial quantities for boiling water reactors in the next few months. It can be incorporated into existing water treatment systems and does not require new equipment.

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